Guest blogger and Mindfulness course participant Joolz Joseph blogs about her experience of reconnecting with her Mindfulness practice. You can find part 1 here.
Jon Kabat-Zinn writes:
[Meditation] has no goal other than for you to be yourself. The irony is that you already are. This sounds paradoxical and a little crazy. Yet this paradox and craziness may be pointing you toward a new way of seeing yourself, one in which you are trying less and being more.
As you look at the rest of your life, if you’re applying pressure on yourself, ask yourself this question: Is this pressure necessary to achieve what I want? More times than not, what you want can be achieved without putting so much pressure on yourself. In fact, the stress and anxiety that comes from high-pressure could actually be holding you back. Instead of putting so much pressure on yourself, maybe you can find other ways to motivate yourself through encouraging behaviour that is positive while still being goal-focused.
If you have been distracted over a busy period and are looking to refocus, be gentle. Please, try to have no expectations, just accept that what will be, will be. Coax yourself back into your practise at a pace that isn’t going to stress you out. Consistently practising a short time every day will be far more effective than a longer practise every few days if that is all you can manage right now.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t plan meditations into your day, but too much pressure will be counterproductive. Consider what could help you reconnect with your practise? Maybe come to one of our monthly graduate sessions if you’re local to St Albans or find a local group. Do you find reading the blogs useful? Maybe you can look at blocking out time in your diary? Consider setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to meditate or one to get up 20 minutes before the rest of the house and savour some peace.
I’d also invite you to read a helpful book that’s set in bitesize chunks over a cup of tea. There are many out there. For example, a Buddhist monk (Korean born, educated in the US) has written The Things you can only see when you slow down. It is a popular book I am just starting myself. Filled with insights, ways of reconnecting and beautiful illustrations, it’s a daily shot of mindfulness to help keep me on track.
This year, give yourself the gift of acceptance and kindness every day and enjoy a journey of self-discovery and appreciation. In the words of a well-known ad ‘You’re worth it!’.
Waves crashing through my mind
Knots, pulsing, churning
Never ending, never relenting
Just on and on
There it is
A ray of light
A single breath
Deep, calming, familiar release
No rearview mirror
Just fresh horizons