A Practice to Stay Present
Picture the changing seasons. Leaves falling from the trees. The approach of darkness coming quicker. Holidays. The cool and crisp air. A new moon.
These are some of the things we think of when traveling from one place to the next. We think of endings and beginnings, task lists, and what’s next on the agenda. But rarely do we think of the space we are traveling through during times of transition. It is a natural progression to move from one place to the next. It is not so natural or even comfortable to sit in the middle, waiting for the next thing. The art of discomfort needs our best practice as it does not come easily. It requires navigation of the in between; a foreign territory.
It is often said our anxiety is a body signal that we are worrying about what the future holds, while regret and depression are steeped in past memories of what could have been.
Neither overwhelm nor depression is a place we aspire to be. Rather than clinging to those feelings that cause us to suffer, it serves us well if we let them go and strive to stay in the present. But how do we sit still when we are being pushed into the future or dragged backwards into the past?
Here is a practice for staying present and grounded in times of transition:
Breathe. Stop what you are doing and focus on your breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Let it become a pattern. Control what you can – your inhale and exhale.
Meditate. Do what you need to do to get centered in your body. Clear out negative energy and attachments that are causing resistance. Let go of the buzzing in your brain. Allow your thoughts to pass like storm clouds. Become an observer of your body.
Listen. Put your hand on your heart, and feel its beat. Start at the top of your head and notice the physical sensations in your body from top to bottom. Take the time to identify which feelings you are feeling and where you feel them. Acknowledge them and let them go.
Move. After your mind, body and heart are in alignment movement helps to release what is stuck. Trust that your body is a natural mechanism for moving forward.
Give Thanks. It is not every day that we begin or end. However, every day we have the opportunity to acknowledge the ways we have moved from one place to the next. Offer gratitude for the lessons we can learn in the middle.
Just like feelings and the seasons, transitions are impermanent. They continually pass. There is not true distinction between the end and the beginning – just the time between. Practice sitting in that space in order to get comfortable with transitions so that you may normalize rather than avoiding them.
Please contact Rachel Gordon if you have questions about Buddhist psychology and integrative, holistic techniques to address mental health issues and promote total body wellness. If you live in the Denver/ Castle Rock area and would like to learn more about what Rachel has to offer through Humble Warrior Therapy, please call (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule.
Tags: anxiety relief, Castle Rock, grounding exercises, Guided Practice, Holidays, life transitions, Mindfulness, self-care routines, staying present