Today is day 7 of my 33 days of gratitude after completing the mindfulness retreat last weekend. We were encouraged to meditate daily even if for just 5 minutes if that is all you could work in. As you know from previous posts meditation, calming my mind, slowing my thoughts, and just being in the moment are not things that come naturally to me. Telling me to calm my mind and slow my thoughts was like telling me not to think of a pink dolphin, I couldn’t help but do the opposite.
Being at a mindfulness retreat, meditation comes easily. You have a coach gently guiding your thoughts so that you go into a deeper and deeper state of mindfulness without even realizing it. My thoughts went from being like Roadrunner zipping from one thing to the next, to being like a sloth and rarely wandering and slowly flowing from one thing to the next. I let myself get lost in her words until I eventually didn’t hear them at all. I felt such a warmth and peace within.
The 33 day goal was a little daunting to me. I was nervous and unsure. I didn’t think that mindfulness would come as easily to me being outside of the calm, quiet and peaceful boundaries of the secluded rustic home in the mountains. I’m very excited to share that the profound state of meditation was not tied to the house in the mountains that I learned how to meditate in. From the moment I settled onto the cushion on my living room floor, I felt the connection. My mind immediately went to that quiet place, it didn’t take a half hour of walking myself through gardens, by streams or other peaceful scenes in nature to center myself.
I like to get up early to meditate because I love to start my day off with the feeling I get both during and after I practice mindfulness. I set an alarm so I know when I need to start wrapping it up so I can proceed to get ready for work and start my day. It is difficult to pull myself away from the moment and feeling that envelopes me at the time even though I know that it’s going to be with me as I go on about my day. There is no better way for me to go through my day than with the feeling of love that floods my heart and absolute peace that fills my mind and inner being. It puts me in such a good mood and gives me such a great outlook on the rest of the day. It better equips me to handle the unexpected and aggravating things that arise throughout the day. I’m in a better state of mind and therefore better equipped to handle the situations from a perspective of understanding, acceptance and patience.
It truly amazes me how much this practice has transformed my life. I have toyed with mindfulness for a couple of years, practicing sporadically, then more dedicated mainly on Sundays. Eventually I decided to practice it more and more as I grew fond of the little I began to learn about Buddhism. Between the intrigue of Buddhist practice and the encouragement from the Mindful Monday prompt of the blog challenge, there was just a lot of synchronization that lead to me taking it a step further and applying the practice daily. I’m very pleased with how much it has helped me.
I’ve had a spiritual awakening. Not a groundbreaking immediate awakening, more like hit the snooze button and slowly awakening over time. I am learning to be more patient with myself, my daughter, husband and others. I am learning to be more accepting of the choices and decisions of others. Respecting their perspective and understanding without judgement. Each day I wake up eager to get my quiet space ready, put my cushions on the floor, light my candles (good idea Bee!) hit the play button on my song of choice on YouTube, and get my mind ready for the day just as I get myself ready for work.
What are your thoughts on this Soulful Sunday post. Can you relate? Have you had your own spiritual awakening? Do you practice mindfulness? What do you like most about it? Do you practice daily? Multiple times a day? Do you practice alone or with someone? Do you practice indoors or outdoors? Do you have a special place reserved for it? What do you feel during and after practicing?