Hello beautiful people,
I'm back into my meditations and continuing with my mindfulness challenge. Mindfulness is challenging! I notice my mind wondering off topic all the time and I have to continuously and consciously reel it back in. A simple example that I noticed is that it's hard for me to be mindful when I'm driving. My mind is in another world as I think about and plan my days. I'm developing an awareness of this and consciously reeling my mind back into focusing on what I'm seeing right before my eyes.
Another time that I noticed my mind wondering was when I was doing a simple om'ing exercise. I was in my yoga teacher training and we were repeating OM. As I was om'ing my mind started to take off with thoughts rapid fire. "Wow, she can om for a long time." "I need to take a bigger breath." "I still can't om that long. Why did I ever smoke in my life? Now I can't om that long." "He can om really low." "Can I om that low?" "I wonder if I can om in a high voice?" "I'm fucked because I smoked when I was young." "I can feel the om buzzing in my mouth." etc. My mind was shooting thoughts like crazy and this went on the entire exercise which was a few minutes. This happens all the time. This was just the beginning of me noticing the rapid thoughts. How can I quiet this down? Is all this thinking really helpful?
After going through Michael Singer's course, "Untethered Soul in Action", I am learning. He has three main techniques.
1. Positive Thinking
2. Mantras or Affirmations - He suggested simply saying, "I can handle this."
3. Relax and Let it go
The other day I was driving and the song, "Bring him home" by Josh Groban came on. I was immediately thinking of my dad with stage 3 Alzheimer's in his assisted care facility and wanting to bring him home. My mind started shooting off with all the things that I would need to do to make this happen. "Get combination locks for the doors." "Hire 2 shifts of help from Care.com." "Hide sharp objects." "Install grab bars." "Put mattress cover on." "Close off sections of the house so he has limited access to the house." "Get wood patio furniture not cloth so that if he poops his pants then it doesn't get on the fabric." Then I hear the words to Bring Him Home:
"God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there
He is young
Let him rest
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home."
I start to cry. Now, normally my mind would continue racing into the ethers except I see myself having these thoughts and I stop and relax. I breath and repeat to myself, "I can handle this." "I can handle this." And I quiet down, like magic! Normally this anxiety would overwhelm me. This was one of the first times that I felt like I had some useful tools to sooth my anxiety. A calm mind returns to me once again and I focus on the road. The grass is really green. The light outside is cheerful. The weather is beautiful. There is a lot to be grateful for.
If you find your mind racing when you are trying to be mindful then try one of the three techniques above. They really helped me relax and become present again. The one that was the most powerful was repeating, "I can handle this." I can say this mantra and feel a wave of calm and quiet blanket over me. I relax and trust that everything is going as it should. Everything is going to be ok. All of this chatter in my mind isn't helping so I consciously catch myself and stop. If you ever get overwhelmed, try saying "I can handle this" and you will, because you can! I believe in you:) . Peace out my friends. I love you.