Excitement! It’s January. It’s a new year and I am ready to do some exploring.
I’m a firm believer in routine and the idea that expansion, growth, and creativity comes from the familiar. Showing up every day to a practice is where inspiration will know to find you. Flowing through a daily pattern allows you to play.
Mindfulness is a perfect place to start. It feels like the most basic skill to practice. Sitting in the Present Moment. For me this brings up all kinds of ideas. Thinking about thinking. Being aware of thoughts. Observing thoughts, emotions, behaviors, imagination, and habits. Observing without judgement. Observing with curiosity. Observing with unconditional love. Being aware of our inner universe. Awareness. Attention.
So where do we begin?
We just sit quietly for 2 minutes.
Breathing deeply, recognizing what comes up in our thoughts and feelings. “I’m cold.” “I don’t think this is working.” “I don’t know if I’m doing this right.” “I’m hungry.” “I hope that package gets delivered on time.” “I am feeling comfortable, calm, and content.” Just observe. We’re practicing noticing these things for now.
We move to experiencing life in our immediate surroundings with our senses. What do we see, smell, hear, feel, and taste? We are connecting to the present moment and all of the truth within it. Experiencing the world around us with our physical senses and without any judgements or story. What we sense just is. It’s truth. “The bird is grey.” “The sun is warm.” “The Lilacs smell.” “I taste my coffee.”
Can you feel parts within your body when you close your eyes? Do your hands and feet still exist or do they disappear when you don’t see them? This is where I started. I could not feel my body when my eyes were closed. It takes practice but it will come. We are whole and we are meant to remember this. Are your hands and feet warm or cold? Are there aches and pains in your joints? Again- we are just exploring feeling what is going on in our body. No judgements, just facts.
At any point we might start experiencing some judgements or some urges to fall into habitual behaviours. (“I am bored.” “I’m going to just check my phone.”) Or our imagination is inspired. (I have to go do some gardening!) Either way, these things are normal, but are leading us back to our regular programming, our habitual thinking. Acknowledge what’s coming up as lovingly as possible, and settle back to your senses and your inner universe.
This is it! We start with 2 minutes. We work from noticing our thoughts as they are. Moving on to experiencing our senses and our bodies without judgement. After a bit of practice you will gradually want to move up to longer times. I am now at 20 minutes each morning.
This part of my routine feels like a really good way to begin my day and now I want to expand it into my bedtime routine as well. I will start with 2 minutes and increase from there. It allows me to be honest about how things actually are in my mind and body. From that honest place I can organize my day in a way that doesn’t leave me exhausted.
It can be difficult to change patterns but this practice of awareness feels so central to all of the intuitive-living work I’ve done. Just noticing life is the way to begin change.