Mindfulness Meditation: Why It's a Gift You Need to Give Yourself by Stephanie Cannoe
Mindfulness meditation practice can be many things, and the intention is to be fully conscious in this moment and in every moment. The practice is simple, just as it is equally revealing and challenging; what is unconscious is now purposefully called to consciousness, which I do not recommend if you’d like to hide from yourself. The work is to acknowledge whatever mind state and preconceptions you have, your reactions or inactions, your emotions positive or negative, which you may be gripping to or avoiding and rejecting, whatever is calling your attention. But, you don’t need to do anything except bring acceptance, patience and kindness to yourself and the struggle, while you try to embrace what is unfolding, in whatever way it is.
Surrender may not come so easily at first. Your thoughts have their own agenda, but to make space for your senses and to be in your body is a foundational element, a piece to the puzzle. A well-known anchor is to just breathe. This shift is to allow in the multiple dimensions of your experience and in so doing to be deeply moved, simply by giving yourself the gift of spacious non-judgmental awareness. This does expand your limited view, even if you’re not trying to, and this shift is felt subtly, yet your relationship to your experiences will change drastically as a result and – simply or not – to master this skill, while smiling at the content and possibly your own suffering is everything! As a result, you will learn how to cope with your distress.
At some point, practice becomes your moment-by-moment field of awareness and is more tangible. Without effort each moment begins to unfold with greater ease and openness and with less resistance to what you want and your vulnerable raw emotions, which may be underneath, as you learn to accept and love yourself, and this moment, just as it is. This is a very healing process, which is yet another gift of mindfulness. To be in the space of the unknown with an open heart, empowered to be you, and surrendered to whatever happens next knowing that you will survive – is revolutionary.
There are so many approaches to mindfulness meditation, so see what resonates with you and make a commitment to begin. Start with something realistic, for example, I commit to a five-minute practice, five days a week for three months to start. If this is the practice for you, continue to adjust your lifestyle to find greater balance and continue to deepen your commitment to yourself. You are worth the investment and it is so important to give yourself the attention you need. Please don't deny yourself the love you deserve!
"The true journey of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having fresh eyes." – Marcel Proust
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