Yes, I’ve noticed that August has rolled around, but don’t worry, I won’t let that stop me from posting on the July Self-Care Retreat. I figure since Iris’ (week on Inward reflection just started on Saturday we can push for a few more days…and I’ll do a roundup next week.
This topic, inward reflection, is one of my favorites. Our host, Iris of The Daily Dietribe , spoke about just taking 5 minutes for you to do a self-care scan, every day. Shirley of GFE had a marvelous and moving post on the power of silence. Valerie of City|Life|Eats had a similar theme on checking in when there’s pain or discomfort.
I even broke my own (self-imposed) rules about not getting too personal and shared on using meditation and mindfulness to heal chronic pain on the Tiny Buddha.
The one big piece that I wanted to add to the conversation is that mindfulness and inward reflection are not one static thing. One teacher defined mindfulness as paying attention on purpose. It’s what happens when we let go of the normal preoccupation of bills, traffic, worry, doubt, etc. and are simply present. Maybe that’s drawing or coloring, like Carrie with her mandalas. Or maybe it’s spending time watching a sunset, or just listening to music, feeling the raindrops, really tasting something delicious, or cuddling with a furry friend. I love my feline purr meditations, where my cat will sit on my chest and all I can think of is his warmth, his weight (there’s a lot of him to love) and his purr, and it’s mesmerizing, centering and joyful. That is, until his feeder goes off and he launches off my chest to chow down. Ah, the beauty of impermanence…
Yes, 5 minutes of silence and the list I shared of meditation resources can be great for formal meditation. AND it’s a beautiful thing to weave mindfulness into everyday life wherever you go, whatever you do.
You don’t have to wait for silence or a specific time of quiet to touch peace. You don’t need a special place or mantra or cushion. Those are wonderful things, but not prerequisites. It can be wherever you are.
“You wander from room to room, Hunting for the diamond necklace, That is already around your neck!” — Rumi
“Paying attention on purpose”… perfect! Great post, Cheryl! I also like that you point out that one doesn’t need a special place or “tool” to set the stage for inward reflections. No matter what the theme, we adult humans so often make “it” (whatever the “it” is) too hard. We need lots of reminders not to do so and just go with it!