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Mindfulness- Begin at the Beginning

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed you snapped? When we're operating in survival mode, accidentally missing an exit or burning dinner at the end of a long day can be enough to push us over the edge. I know I've been there- anxious and on edge with the slightest "problems" negatively affecting my mood and reactions. This state of being is actually quite destabilizing and leaves us at the whim of external situations, people, and events.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, is mindfulness, which empowers you to operate from a place of conscious response instead of reactivity. When we're living mindfully, we're able to laugh off a burnt dinner and order takeout instead. We realize that missing the exit doesn't really matter in the long run. We respond to life from a place of peace instead of reacting to it in anger, fear, or stress.

So how do you move from reactivity to mindfulness? Putting a little distance between yourself and your thoughts is the first step in cultivating mindfulness that results in a sense of peace and stability. You are not your mind or its thoughts. You are actually the witness or observer of them. The Sanskrit word for this is Sakshi. Sa meaning "with" and aksha meaning "senses" or "eyes". The Sakshi is the awareness to disengage from identifying with your thoughts and instead observe them with your own senses/eye.

This might sound complicated, but becoming the witness of your own self is the first step in being able to respond favorably to life and in turn, have life respond favorably to you! Through witnessing your experience from a distance, you're able to stay detached and steady instead of pulled into reactions like yelling or doing something you later regret.

Begin at the beginning with small and sustainable steps as you cultivate mindfulness in your journey to centeredness. As thoughts arise throughout the day, begin to note that they are just that- thoughts. Say to yourself, "thoughts" or "thinking" and let them float by without attaching to them or assigning meaning. Do this in calm or mundane situations at first like while you're showering or taking a walk. Building up the ability to do this in routine or calm situations will strengthen your ability to maintain this same sense of steadiness and peace in seemingly less favorable situations like rush hour traffic or getting slow moving children ready for school.

Yoga helps! Connect with me to begin your own journey from confusion to clarity.

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