Every day I instruct people on the importance of meditation, yoga, journaling, walking, art….you name it. Helping my clients develop a practice to center themselves, calm their inner storm, and live a whole life is a big part of what I facilitate in my office. When it comes to myself, however, there are definitely some struggles.
The tools that I use to center myself are journaling, or doing a guided meditation about once a week, but my centering practice sometimes feels more like a chore and not something I find joy in. In the past I had been getting this feeling of knowing that I needed to go outside daily and just be…no meditating in the formal “disciplined” way nor any specific guidelines followed.
I reject anything that feels like work during “my time”, and it feels great. However, this knowing of needing quite time had been going on for several months. “But had I gone outside!”, I thought. No. So I bit the bullet. I started my centering practice, and not because I wanted to, but because I knew I needed to. The “blahs” inside of me were getting too strong. I wanted my bounce back. So I listened to my gut and I went outside.
Day one was nothing spectacular. I sat on a chair, with my bare feet on the ground. I noticed a beautiful tree in my neighbors’ yard whose leaves were vibrant green, the sky was blue, and the birds chirped. I listened and looked and sat for about 20 minutes. Task done! Where is my golden star sticker or burst of happiness? Not here today, but this was not bad at all. It was a start at least.
Oftentimes a start is all that is needed to grow. Every journey must simply begin. No matter if the start is small or large: a start is a start!
On day two my mind would have much preferred to do a puzzle or buy stuff on my phone, but I forced myself to go sit outside on a towel. Today was way more than I ever could’ve expected. I spent about 45 minutes outside looking at the Green Tree next door, listening to the birds, looking at the sky, looking at the little purple flowers in the backyard. It completely relaxed me on another level. I became very aware of what was going on inside of me. I noticed where my stress sat in my body. I noticed what I needed. I noticed various feelings. Then I closed my eyes and I did a guided meditation with my internal "team mates". Its something I do with clients often. It felt good to be supported and loved by my internal figures. Then I opened my eyes and I just was there laying on my towel legs bent and feet on the ground.
My practice is not one of discipline and self-control. Mine is one of receiving from everything around me and within me. It calms me to sit and listen both inside and outside of me. Some days eveything just makes sense. I am sure at some point in this week or in this day I will lose this sense of peace. That is absolutely okay. I am human and I don't take myself seriously at all.
This exercise was good but truth be told I might not do it for another week. Lets be real we all have a list of things we want to do but we are not doing. Sometimes having a person to discuss plans with holds you accountable until your practice is a habit. I would love to be that person. Call me.