When I first began my mindfulness journey it was one of confusion and frustration. I was thinking, “you want me to sit here and just breathe and try not let my thoughts overwhelm me!?” That was my simplistic view of what Mindfulness was at the time. As a child I’ve had diagnosed ADD, which meant my mind raced and wandered all the time. The combination of childhood trauma also added a layer of difficulty when it comes to regulating my thoughts and emotions. I thought it was normal having these anxiety infused thoughts racing through my head every second. Since I could remember I had an anxiety about death. At any moment I thought I was going to die. It haunted me daily. I didn’t think this was abnormal, it was just the way it was. My mind was a labyrinth of different catastrophic thoughts and situations. Reflecting, it’s a miracle that I could function as highly as I could.
What mindfulness taught me was to observe my thoughts as thoughts. I could be curious with them, play around with them, observed how they began and ended, but most importantly I didn’t have to act on them nor did I have to believe these thoughts were reality. It allowed me to be an observer of my thoughts and feelings and not a participant. It gave me space. Space to evaluate, and act when it was necessary to act. I wasn’t driven so much by emotional impulse, but by observation and mindfulness.
Start by sitting up in a quiet place.
Close your eyes.
Breathe in deep through your nostrils
Focus on the sensation of the cool air passing through your nostrils
Focus on your lungs expanding bringing the fresh air to every cell in your body
After a moment exhale the warm air from your mouth, releasing all the stress, anxiety, anger, regret that was stored within your body
Imagine you are sitting inside a small wooden cabin inside of a deep winter forest.
The cabin has a small bed, kitchen, and couch
There are two small windows that allows natural light to shine in
Through the windows you can see it is snowing heavily
You are sitting in front of a roaring fire in the fire place
You are warm and safe
You hear the crackling of the woods as the fire burns
You hear the wind of the snowstorm rustle the evergreens surrounding the cabin
The fire warms your body
You have no distractions, no worries
It’s only you, the cabin, and nature together all in harmony
You take a deep breathe in smelling the burning wood of the fire, the oak from the wood of the cabin, and the evergreens outside the cabin
The aroma grounds you
It enters every cell of your body and breathes life
It soaks up your fears
You exhale your fear into the atompshere
The fire has burned it away
The winds has carried it away
Slowly bring yourself back into the present.
Open your eyes when ready.