Every time I host a guidance session it’s never the same. There is a basic structure I use and I love it when it evolves and grows. So for this blog I’m going to share with you the latest.
I’d also like to to take a moment to thank the people who have shared with me their experiences which have helped me to understand, respond and improve the narrative and guidance structure.
The most common observation is that it’s really difficult to silence the mind. So STOP TRYING. Instead simply place your attention on something else. One breath, a sound, a conscious gaze and relax. These five steps go more deeply into this practice and it starts with our heart connection:
Affirm an intention that you are loved, … by you!
Loving Kindness towards ourselves: I am doing the very best that I can to live a full and satisfying life. There’s no need to beat yourself up with self criticism and judgments. Let go of that attitude! Place a hand on your heart and breathe there. Affirm an intention that you are loved, … by you! ( If this feels hard then take a moment to explore your willingness to understand why and what action can you take to feel self respect and acknowledge your value. )
Acceptance : This flowers from Loving Kindness and is a deeper expression of it. It means to be connected to whatsoever is going on in this moment. To own it. Whatever, thoughts and feelings are there, whatever the outside situation is triggering in you, it is taking responsibility and owning your Self.
When this happens you are more authentic, more real. I am this Now! I’m not trying to deny or push away the reality of what is me now. It is an empowering feeling. I’m angry!, I’m sad!, I’m alive! … whether it’s all sweetness and light or an activated emotion, this is how you are in this moment. Accept it! Be real, feel empowered by owning the experience of this moment. Being connected with your heart owning your experience in this moment you are inviting relaxation to follow. Step 3.
Relaxation : No-one likes to feel stressed and anxious. It blocks our energy and makes it hard to think clearly. Relaxation is a softening and opening of the muscles in the body. Just observe whenever you are in a challenging situation how the your body responds. Most likely your breathing will change, shoulders get tense and perhaps there is a feeling of tightness in your back. By becoming aware of these shifts you can then choose to restore your breath to a regular rhythm and relax. Notice that whenever your attention is placed on any part of your body, that part will relax a lot more easily and willingly. Try it now. Just do a quick body scan and invite each part to relax.
You may then notice that as your body relaxes the mind will relax. It becomes less frantic, less harsh, softer. Thoughts may still be there but there is a distance. Sustaining a constant breathing rhythm helps to calm the mind and enables you to think more clearly. This clarity helps to have a deeper understanding of what it is the mind is saying. This brings us the the forth step.
Non Judgment : It may seem as though the mind is randomly chatting away. A bit like an untamed dog just running around an empty field, barking with no clear purpose. Adopt an attitude of non-judgment, like a parent with her child, simply being open and accepting. Giving this child, this ‘thought’ space to simply exist, and at the same time not being engaged or identified by this thought. Just let it be, LISTEN WITHOUT BEING ENGAGED AND IDENTIFIED.
Awareness : The capacity to be rooted in the observer is the core of the practice of presence. Although it is the ‘last’ step it is implicit to each part. You are always aware. Yet do you deeply place your attention into the mental dialogue, the stories that take us away from the aliveness of this moment? When this is prolonged and becomes a habit, the quality of life is less. The simplicity and beauty of each moment is missed because the mind is stealing all the attention. It can follow that there maybe a feeling of being disconnected, restless, not satisfied. This can be a sign that there is something out of place.
By resting in your awareness, observing and being present there is a deeper connection to the aliveness within you and to the aliveness of this present moment. This is where the beauty of life is: Here and Now. And from that awareness there follows an understanding. More clarity on how you feel, why you are feeling something and what action you need to take in order to restore balance.
Self Love, Acceptance, Relaxation, Non Judgment and Awareness. These are all common observations of the practice of meditation. You may find your own way to express these steps, using words in your own language or perhaps using different anchors.
Essentially being present is a feeling that is natural to us. Yet, we have been trained to use our minds constantly, to be productive, to be competitive, to be successful, to protect ourselves. This can distance us from the aliveness of this moment. There is a sense of deep satisfaction that comes from simply being present, responding to life in a relaxed, healthy and peaceful way.
There is a sense of deep satisfaction that comes from simply being present, responding to life in a relaxed, healthy and peaceful way.
During the day find the discipline to remind yourself of the steps or whatever it is that you need to take to be present, relaxed, calm, free. And then, practice it every day.