Day 30 of 30: Taking It Out Into The World
Congratulations! 30 days. You did it!!!
Thank you for investing in this journey.
Now might be a good time to reflect back on any resistance or hesitations when you started this program:
- Did you have any self-judgments when you started?
- Now how do you feel?
- Do you feel more empowered?
- Do you feel like you have more tools in your mindfulness toolbox?
Do you feel a sense of ease and comfort that you have established a meditation practice that works for you? I hope so.
A few parting thoughts about taking your mindfulness practice out into the world:
- Consistency. Please keep in mind that a daily practice, even for a short time, is much more effective than a less consistent practice for longer meditation durations. C’mon, you can do 5, 10, or 15 minutes each day, right?!?
- What’s the point? The ‘point’ is to change in ways that align with what you want for your life. It starts on the cushion, but becoming a ‘great meditator’ is not the goal of a practice. The goal is to be different in your relationships at home, in the office, in your community, et cetera. It is good to reflect on that intention and to remind yourself of it periodically to align with what is changing for the better, what is working well, and what continue to be challenges for you that become the fodder for your practice.
- Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate noticing when you have become distracted because that is the beginning of re-focusing your attention where you do what it to be. Celebrate the positive shifts you observe in your thoughts, regulation of your emotions, openness of your heart, and behaviors. Pause to notice what is going well. Allow and savor the positive feelings associated with accomplishment, commitment, and growth. Celebrate your ongoing self-understanding! Celebrate when you feel your heart opening a little more! Celebrate when you notice the space that provides you with the opportunity to choose rather than react!
- Mindful movement. Mindful movement practices such as yoga, tai chi, walking meditation, and others, are great ways to stay connected with the sensations of your body. Plus, they augment seated practices by engaging mindfulness when you’re not still.
- Reminders. Another way to reinforce bringing mindfulness into your daily life is by establishing reminders. A reminder is an event in the world that is a stimulus to pause and wake up to what is around you and what is going on in you. Some great ones I have used and that friends have shared with me are:
– setting an hourly beep on your phone,
– each time you walk through a door threshold,
– every time you pull into your driveway,
– hearing the sound of birds chirping (or geese honking), and
– when you stop at a traffic light.
What regular ‘events’ can serve as reminders in your life?
- Community. One of the great supports in life is being in community. In the Buddhist tradition, the 3 ‘jewels’ are knowing (1) you don’t need to be first – someone else came before you, tried things, and committed to a set of practices that led to personal freedom, (2) that you are gaining clarity on how it is to be a human and what leads to satisfaction & contentment and what does not, and (3) that there are others sharing the journey with you. Find a local or virtual meditation group. Find a mentor. It is so wonderful & enriching to have support. You will gain resilience by not ‘going it alone.’
Best wishes! I wish for you peace, security, comfort, contentment, and to be loved.
The invitation for you today is to return to the basics of your calm focus meditation practice. Sit with the sensations of your belly as you breathe normally.
The invitation for today is to do so for a longer duration than you have in this kickstart program so far. For example: if you have consistently practiced for 20 minutes, today stretch to 30 minutes. Why? You may be surprised that what seemed impossible before is possible now after a month of consistent practice. But it is not a contest. There are no prizes given to those who meditate the longest time in each sitting. But a ‘prize’ may be that you notice a shift to a deeper calm and focus that comes with a longer meditation duration.
Note: When you sit for longer periods of time your posture is very important. For example if you are seated cross-legged on the floor, it is helpful to have a cushion on which your bottom and legs rest. Otherwise, it is likely that your legs may become numb. If you do experience numbness or any discomfort, shift your body or get up for a moment and move about. Don’t muscle through simply because you have been told there is a rule to remain still. The main guideline is “this is your practice.” Also, before a longer meditation, urinate, blow your nose, and scratch any itches before you start …
If you’d like, please offer what you learned in today’s walking meditation practice by sharing in the comments below. Please raise awareness of this content by sharing it using the social media icons adjacent to it. Please reach out to me if I can support you.
See you tomorrow!
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