Tell us about your practice. Are there celebrations or challenges? Share a few sentences about one of the two. Make a submission now.
This month Jean shares a mindful practice that she has found meaningful. We invite you to try the practice and share about your experience with us.
Find a poem or other short piece you feel drawn to read.
This month we suggest using the poem Invitation by Mary Oliver though you can use whatever poem or other writing you feel drawn to.
Begin by stretching or grounding in the body
Settle into your chair, close your eyes if you’d like, and take a few deep breaths. Be aware of the body as you sit there, noticing the breath moving in and out, and noticing the quality of your breathing.
Read the poem slowly.
The first time you read the poem, simply take it all in. Notice how your response to the story is expressing in the body as emotional tone or physical sensation. Notice if you’re analyzing, comparing, or getting lost in thoughts and come back to just the words of the poem and any response in the body.
Read the poem a second time.
This time, listen for a word or phrase that stands out for you. Listen for a word or a phrase that most resonates with you or jumps out at you. If your mind wanders, simply come back to the actual words of the poem.
Sit for a few moments
Simply rest and listen. Sit in silence and listen to perhaps a deeper part of yourself and receive any response that is inspired by a word or phrase from the poem.
As you are so moved, write the word or phrase from the poem and then what that inspired in you.
What meaning does this have in your experience? This is about connecting with and being curious about your own experience, not analyzing or judging it. There doesn’t have to be a lesson in everything. Simply write about your experience in the moment.
We’d love it if you would like to share your writing with our mindfulness community. With your permission, we’ll share your writing on our website, in our newsletter, or both.
Practicing with Difficult Emotions
As I wrote in my most recent blog post, recently I have been, once again, in a cycle of self-criticism about my lack of ability to maintain an exercise routine on a consistent basis. So I decided to practice with the feelings that came up around that.
What does it mean to practice with difficult emotions?
It means being present in a kind, compassionate and curious way. I actually listened to the part of me that doesn’t want to exercise. Many emotions came up. As I sat with what was coming up, what ultimately emerged was a commitment to be gentle with myself, to feel the sadness and the hurt and the frustration and to just acknowledge it instead of cutting it off in self-recrimination. Read More
Share with us how your practice is going. We’ll post it here or in our next newsletter (with your permission).