One of my yoga teachers described the practise of meditation as being ‘curious in the moment’.
I’d like to extend that thought to Mindfulness too. To my way of thinking, it applies equally well to when you mindfully choose something to do, wear, eat, say or see. It’s creating a pause between our thought and our action. Within that pause, we can trigger our curiosity to ask ourselves:
What will happen if . . . .
I wear the blue top, or the white one?
I eat the cake, or the apple?
I get up, or stay in bed?
How will I feel once my choice has been made?
I’ve been looking at this within the context of the pandemic. The lockdown, to be precise. Research from North Carolina State University has shown that strong ties have been made between anxiety, depression and an uncertain future. Putting the future into a perpetual holding cell, however, is not an option for most of us. Planning ahead is a powerful form of pro-active coping, as we acknowledge that there will be a future and we will be able to do the things we want to do when it arrives. The science of happiness recommends we continue to plan as this process alone might provide some form of gratification. However, being unduly optimistic can lead to disappointment. An ‘over promised’ and ‘under delivered’ type of scenario rarely ends well. It might appear boring, but I’m guessing balance is the key here.
As a glass half full type of person, I’ve decided that I need to squeeze joy out of every part of my life when I can. Yes, I will make a list (Vision Board) of the places I want to visit, the activities I want to participate in and the people I want to see (and hug). I will also find my enjoyment when I can on a day to day basis.
I know I’m lucky. I have no worries about my business, home schooling, elderly parents requiring care, and I have a supportive and loving husband on site. That doesn’t mean to say that I don’t feel lonely or bereft at times. Along with everyone else, my world has shrunk. It has confined limits, with a perceived fear of the virus that lies in wait outside of our four walls.
My fire essence needs joy, fun, excitement and my wood needs action and space. None of these have been in abundance for a while, so it’s time to DO something about it.
Over the next few posts, I’ll share what has worked for me. Steal the ideas if you think they’ll work for you too. It’s OK to cry, howl, rant, be angry or shout a lot, to release pent up emotion. It goes without saying that caring for our mental, spiritual and physical health are paramount in this type of crisis.
I’m choosing to be mindful about what I REALLY need in each moment, and acknowledge that it exists, even if it is to cry out loud. Who knows what I will discover about myself, and what truly brings me joy.
Let’s bring some colour back into our lives.