With the holiday season officially in "pressing" mode, I have started to practice mindfullness as a remedy for becoming more conscious and peaceful throughout the holiday season. Being mindful with our emotions is a regular practice for those on the warrior's path. And I have plenty to work with myself! I see this holiday period also as an opportunity, and in that ironic way, I am actually looking forward to my pratice this year. Yes I have already begun.
The holidays definitely bring up up my family (core) issues in a big way, and I feel blessed this year to have a greater awareness of my issues than I had even a few short years ago. This year in particular I am also feeling the readiness to face them and to be with
them, not against them, in my meditation.
Here is a great little practice I am using to bring myself to greater friendliness with my self as I work with my emotions at this triggering time of year. It also works well to continue to bring healing to those places that have been long awaiting some. I hope these helpful 4 steps may be of some help to you too.
A mindful healing and meditation practice
4 simple steps:
(1) body scan and breath - as always, keep it simple. find time to sit quietly and focus on your breath. nothing more, nothing less. don't try to change anything. just breathe and notice "I am inhaling, I am exhaling, I am inhaling, I am exhaling." You can add a body-scan during this practice if you feel ready.
(2) for more awareness of your thoughts, add journaling - as my thoughts go sideways during my breathwork focus, as inevitably they will, I keep a journal nearby and write down anything caught in my spin-cycle. This helps me to see it clearly and get it clearly out on paper where I can review it later and bring it further into the light. It also gives me time to honor where my inner child is, so she feels heard, held and loved.
(3) name your feelings out loud - as feelings arise during your meditation, name your feelings out loud. Don't editorialize on them, simply name them as you bring them into your conscious awareness. (I am angy. I am sad. etc.) Additionally, if I am getting too overwhelmed by or stuck in the feelings, I do a flow-of-feelings excercise in my journal as well. My flow of feelings journalling goes like this:
I feel angry that.... (list anything you are feeling, you may have 1 or 2, none or many entries)
I feel sad that...
I feel afraid that...
I feel guilty/ashamed that...
I feel happy that...
I feel secure that...
I feel grateful that...
That's it. Just write it out.
(4) (this is my favorite part) loving yourself - give yourself and your inner child some hug time. wrap your arms around yourself, your shoulders, your heart, or anywhere that is hurting, and gently rock, softly speak to, or simply hold and send love to yourself.
You can also end your practice by returning again to a simple focus on your breath.
I feel wonderful after I practice. And I'm going to be practicing this again myself today. With or without the journal.