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.
We live in a time where many people have a platform to voice their hopes, wishes, dreams, and wants. We also live in a time where people can also quite effectively voice their disdain, displeasure, insults, and turmoil.
We have a choice to engage in the negative energy that we encounter. We have a choice to be offended or not be offended. We often forget that we don’t have to take everything that is directed towards us. Not every impulse needs a similar reaction. We have a choice to engage.
You held me like a child,
innocent and unafraid,
The sweet lullabies from your lips,
Soothes winter’s trepid days.
As we melt into a maze of blizzard haze,
We are frozen by the moments where we depart ways.
Through avenues and ravines we navigate,
Through creeks and streams we gravitate towards tributaries allured by the melodies of currents,
Wrapped in whistling wind,
And rocked to dreamland by battling chimes.
Humbled and enclosed in guarded mountains,
We summit to the tier of this world,
Warmed by the heat passing through conciousness,
As we trek to the ground below,
Awaiting our next adventure.
Steadily as we go,
Steadily as we go.
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.
Warrior Breathing Excerises
Life Force Breathing Exercise
Purpose: to relieve stress, anxiety, and anger.
Start by sitting up straight in a quiet place or outdoors.
You can close your eyes or leave them open.
Imagine that you are sitting inside a blue circle.
The blue substance inside the circle is the life force and see it swirling and pulsing around you.
Take a deep breathe in.
When you inhale imagine you’re inhaling some of the life force pulsing around you.
Let the life force flow within your body, into every organ, and every cell.
Hold the breathe in for a few seconds and let the life force soak up all the anxiety, anger, resentment, doubts, worries, guilt, shame you harbor inside.
Exhale and let those emotions flow back into the life force circle and watch them disappear.
Feel yourself becoming lighter, freer, and calmer.
Do this 5-10 times with each inhale and exhale being one breath. Do this exercise whenever you are experiencing anxiety, stress, and/or anger.