Last week in a mindfulness class that Jack Curley and I are teaching one of the participants shared a beautiful metaphor. We were discussing what had been working with their mindfulness practices and what was still a struggle.
The first thing we teach is 3 breaths, an in-the-moment strategy for when your body and mind feel stress rising. It is a deep inhale in through the nose and an exhale with the mouth open. This is done three times and is an immediate way to calm down and release tension.
The participants in the class have been using this technique, and many have reported significant benefits. The sitting meditation has been a hard practice for some students to work into their lives. One participant shared that she realized her first excuse of no time was quite flimsy. She had enough time if she used the time she spent on Facebook or other social media sites to meditate instead. She was ready to further explore her resistance.
In mindfulness meditation, you sit for 5, 10 or 20 minutes. Sometimes you fall asleep, or your mind keeps wandering, or some uncomfortable thought or feeling might even bubble up. Often there is no immediate reward. The benefits come from the practice of doing it consistently, every day, to build a new way of being.
It is an investment and one that changes not only your mindset but the physiology of your body. The research verified benefits of mindfulness continue to stack up.
As our discussion continued about what is happening with each day logged in sitting meditation another participant offered a metaphor from a previous mindfulness course she had taken.
“Mindfulness meditation is like slowly stitching a parachute for your life.”
I love this as I recently have rediscovered my love of sewing and handwork. This idea that as I sit each day, I am making my own beautiful parachute feels sacred. When we make something with our hands and heart, especially something for our own wellbeing it is a courageous act of love.
It’s an investment that over-and-over again I have found to be worth finding a way to sit still, in silence, every day. Life promises great joys mixed in with times when we need to pull the ripcord and know we have what we need to safely land back home.
Are you ready to sit today? Take a deep breath, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Listen to this 5-minute mindfulness meditation.
You are on your way.
Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash(Link)