Open Yourself to Mindfulness

I'd like to start this article by telling you that less than 10 years ago, I had no idea what mindfulness was.  I was a very lost soul and really thought nothing would help me. My options were little to nothing left. I had tried every viable option.  One may have said that I was hopeless and I truly believed that.  I was hopeless and waiting to die. I laughed at people who thought a spiritual experience would help me. Little did I know I would get a second chance at life.  This mindfulness concept would be key to a sustainable and joyful recovery life.

Let's begin.  We are always beginners.  No one is an expert and there is always room to grow.  I like the sound of that.  This concept is studied and practiced by many individuals from across the world.  It is a universal concept that works.  You will here me reference Sandra Bloom often because I appreciate her work and dedication to people with trauma and addiction.  She is a woman who  practices what she preaches.

Get to the point... The point to mindfulness is to be able to be in the present moment with calm and ease, not worrying what is next or worrying about what has already happened.  Mindfulness is great because anyone can practice and benefit from it.  I love it because it helps me dig deeper and find a deeper meaning to life.  I can share this experience beyond the addiction field.  Being able to help family and friends using practice creates a dynamic of great positive change that help our community as a whole. 

In the past, anytime I would ask for help, I would be directed by a facilitator to focus on the problem and the "war story" meaning my active addiction. I do  not mind telling my story if it will help someone, but.. Here is the thing: At some point, you do not benefit from telling the same story and continue to live in the past and focus on the problem instead of the solution.  We must learn how to achieve internal freedom and contentment.

But how...  You must create an environment where you feel safe.  Focus on the 5 senses. How does it smell? How does it look? How does it sound? How does it feel? How does it taste?

What is important to you?                                                                                                                 For me,  I like to dim the lights and light a scented candle (White Tea Musk or a Warm Vanilla).  I try to cut out any distractions, like a beeping phone or emails. A little fresh air always helps me. Some soft ocean waves from Youtube and a comfortable place to sit with cushions.  

As a beginner, just focus on a few things that make you feel calm and practice sitting still and allowing yourself  to breath in through you nose and out through your mouth, counting 5 seconds in, then hold for 1 second then release 8 seconds out and repeat.  Try this for 5 minutes

Only 5 minutes.... Start with 5 minutes.  It will feel like forever but you can do it.  Close you eyes and focus on your beating heart and visualize your heart being a green emerald that continues to grow as you think of all the people you love and care about.   (Set a timer for 5 minutes)

See how you feel afterwards.  Reflect and start your day refreshed.  Try to practice this daily in the morning and at night.

There is always room to grow. More will continued to be revealed as we travel on this journey of recovery. Always continue seeking and sharing what you learn.

God bless and share peace

Erin J.