It’s a new year – 2021 – and we got off to a rocky start. But today, I’m aware of a peacefulness and a feeling of being grounded that has been missing in my life for the last four years. I know I’m not alone. I didn’t realize how much anxiety I’d been carrying in my body until the end of the day on January 20, 2021. We witnessed a magnificent inauguration along with all of the trappings that covid-19 would allow – without incident. I felt profound relief.
The next day, I could breathe and when we took our dog to the beach for a walk, everything felt different. I felt relaxed and realized that even though I was masked and making sure I stayed a good 6-feet away from other walkers, I wasn’t feeling the hyper-vigilance I had become used to. I’m grateful for this.
I set a goal for myself this year – not a resolution but a goal to incorporate mindfulness into all the things that I do. I’m enrolled in an online Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training to augment my coaching practice and part of the curriculum is meditating daily as well as leading multiple types of meditations several times in order to become a knowledgeable and competent meditation instructor and leader. The day after the inauguration, I led an online body scan meditation which was a perfect way to release all of the tension that was being held in our collective bodies. Today, I led an online mindful walking meditation where I instructed the participants to imagine safely walking somewhere they loved within the parameters of their physical capacities and gave the following instructions:
~ arrive and be in the present moment ~ focus the attention on the internal and external experience ~ relate to the body with friendliness ~ breathe in and out as you move, fully and freely ~ feel your feet on the ground ~ notice where you are ~ notice the sensations you are experiencing ~ notice what you see, what you hear, what you smell ~ notice the air ~ is there a breeze or is the air still ~ feel your feet as they make contact with the ground ~ widen your awareness to include the experience of your whole body walking and to everything you are experiencing in your environment from sights, sounds, smells and sensations ~ ask yourself if you can be fully aware and present to walking in the middle of this very dynamic experience ~ beginning and ending with the breath and appreciation.
And then, I took myself and my dog to the beach and practiced this meditation again. I became aware of how connected I am to this interdependent web of all existence in which I reside. The air was cool and brisk on my skin and the waves were dark and filled with the promise of an incoming storm. The people I encountered all seemed happy – or was I projecting my own happiness onto them? I like this meditation.
I’m becoming aware of something new starting to emerge within me. I’m not sure about it’s exact nature yet, but I intend to give this little flame all the oxygen it needs so I can see what happens and where it leads. I intend to pay attention, be mindful and present so I won’t miss the experience.