Tonight I shared space with my mentor and two other women I admire and it was so good. It was also sacred so that is all I am going to share about it.
As I was driving home my favorite song by Ben Howard came on my Pandora station. It started right down the street from my home, so I decided to make the block. Sometimes you are just not ready for the moment to be over. As I drove and enjoyed every chord, every word, all the feelings that rose up in me, I thought about mindfulness and being in the moment and how great it is when you are really committed to it.
I admit it is not always easy. I am very inside my own head a lot of the time. I am known for walking out the door without something I need for the day or walking into a room and not remembering why. I at times operate in a state of fog because my consciousness is not in the moment but in my dream world instead.
I can do it though. I can be intentional and mindful and present. I love both spaces, the here and now and my dreamy place.
I am feeling like I am in a list making mood so I am going to share some of my favorite moments of mindfulness.
- When you are with someone and they are telling you a story and you are all there experiencing every piece of it with them. I get to do this with friends, clients, family, colleagues.. Sometimes even people I barely know. It is so remarkable, you are literally transported into their reality and can feel, and see, and smell, and hear all the different things going on around them in their story. Those are moments I live for. I love stories.
- Meditation. Being able to feel every part of my body and listen to it. The slight tinge in my back from my posture, the growing numbness in one butt cheek from holding a position too long, the feel of my mala beads rolling between my finger tips as I breathe in my intention, my breath – the air filling my lungs so full and then release, every little pulse going on inside of me. Sometimes meditation feels like a super power, to be that tuned in to your own body, it is a spiritual experience for sure.
- In nature. Whether I am walking a trail far away from humanity, or sitting outside a crowded cafe some of my favorite moments of full on mindfulness take place in nature. There is a table I like to sit at on campus when it is available, it is right next to a patch of green – grass, bushes, a few little saplings.. I sit there with my ear buds in to drown out all the human noise taking place around me and I just watch. I watch the way each leaf moves in the breeze, I watch tiny spiders dancing across blades of grass occasionally throwing a little web if the distance to the next blade feels to far, I look at the color of the different leaves on the bushes and wonder why some turned and not others. I see it all taking place right in front of me, I am immersed in something it seems like no one can see, but here it is all happening right in front of them.
- Music. Music is a vehicle, you can climb inside of it and get lost for hours. Radiohead is a great example of this for me. When I first listened to the OK Computer a million years ago I remember getting lost in it. Particularly Paranoid Android and Subterranean Homesick Alien. I would rock while I was listening, I would sing, I would bang my hands on my legs in tune with the beat. I was transported, I was lifted from my bed, out of bedroom, and into another space and reality this music created. The power of music is otherworldly.
- Creating. This is one of my favorite ways to experience mindfulness. Being completely consumed by my creative process is my ultimate answer to the question of self-care. When I am holding my pain brush it becomes an extension of my body, the cold feel of paint on my finger tips is a feeling of renewal I have no words for.. Experiencing each step of the creative process is spiritual for me; laying the drop cloth – spending a moment to take in all of the colors present on it and how beautiful my messy splatters are, setting up the canvas – taking a moment to relish its emptiness, setting up my paints – choosing each color with intention and leaving the drawers open that hold my paints so each color not chosen knows it is still invited into the experience, the physical act of painting – I have no words, and stepping back occasionally.. Coming to the surface for perspective, to tell my family I love them, to witness my progress. Creating allows so much room for so many things. It holds space for me in a way few other things and people are able to in life.
- Writing. I am here right now present in this moment. Choosing every word I type, sometimes sitting with my choices before I move on.. Does that feel right there? Is this what I actually mean? What is the absolute perfect word for this sentiment? Writing is another part of my life that holds space for me in a very special way. It is more than special, it is sacred. I am able to give myself to the act of writing in a way I struggle to with many people in my life. I have a few soul people who experience me in the way I show up on this blog but few truly know my depth.
If you are someone from my real life who I have invited in to this place please know how much that speaks to what I think of you and how I feel about you as a person. I may not show up fully in this way with you in real life but you were invited to a sacred space where I allow very few “real people” from my life and there was a reason I let you in.
I could continue with this list. I am growing tired though and I even while I am in this moment of writing I am still listening to the needs of my body. The one last thing I would like to add to my list being in moments of true emotion. When something touches me, when something impacts me in some way and allowing myself to feel it without a filter. I am often moved to tears and I often let them come. I am not uncomfortable crying in public spaces and if I make others uncomfortable with my vulnerability I think that may speak to their disconnection from their own – that is not a judgement statement. I really do love allowing myself to feel things though and not having to sensor, I feel much more alive when I can show up this way.
I have no fancy ending for this post. This is all I have for you. I hope it gave you something, I know it did for me.