Moving Forward With Mindfulness
Last night was the first session of the 8 week MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course that I signed up for this summer. I had been looking forward to this class for weeks, absolutely could not wait! I’m always ready to add some helpful tools to my teaching belt that I could share with my clients, but also I really desired some additional support myself.
However, about 30 mins before I was suppose to go to class I was having a pretty solid cry/breakdown. I was day 21 of my cycle, otherwise known as a my most mega sensitive time (luteal phase to be more specific), I was deeply missing my dad who recently passed, feeling nervous about upcoming treatments for my mom and her health, and my monthly lower back pain was flaring up which leaving me feeling pretty damn horrible.
All these issues were mounting in my mind as why I shouldn’t go to the class. I didn’t want to cry in front of everyone, I didn’t want to sit and feel uncomfortable in my body. I could feel the excuses starting to pile up in my mind. But as I sat down to take some slow breaths and dry my eyes, I suddenly recognized the feeling as an old pattern of wanting to run away when things felt uncomfortable.
I took some more deep breaths, put on my comfiest clothes, and reminded myself that showing up when things were challenging had offered me some of the most rewarding moments in my life, it always made me grow. I wasn’t pushing through pain, or simply trying to tough it out, but I had to remind myself that it was okay to feel all of these feelings and still be able to more forward.
So I went to the class, and guess what, the mindfulness and meditation practices didn’t necessarily “fix” the hurt or pain like a magic pill. However, what did happen was maybe even better. The body scan allowed me to be more aware of what the hurt and pain was really all about. I felt more in tune with my body, specifically where my back pain was located. It allowed me to be with my pain in a gentler way so that I could try to be less reactive and not get further upset.
And that is what mindfulness practice is all about. It teaches us to find that space from which we are able to respond from, and be become less active to thoughts, feelings, and situations.
So today even though I don’t feel physically amazing, I am more relaxed and ready to continue moving forward.
I’ll be continuing to share my experience in my blog over the next several weeks as I move through the course and as always I am open for questions about how you could implement more mindful moments within your life if that is what you are searching for.