Mindfulness practice is a necessity for me. When I opened my business eleven years ago, I found that as my business grew, I was losing myself. I was becoming less patient and not to mention the long days of five to six hours in the morning, and then in the evening, I was exhausted. So it was when I developed a mid-day mindfulness routine. Once I established this method, I was able to increase my energy, discover mindfulness for myself.
My typical mid-day routine consisted of three to four restorative poses and a ten to twenty-minute meditation of a particular word/theme, loving-kindness or forgiveness. My morning routine is seven sun salutations, drink fifteen ounces of water, and drink herbal tea while I read my daily inspiration. For this assignment, I did a thirty-minute body scan. I played around with different body scans, such as supine, prone, and standing. I kept my morning routine as is.
Mindfulness practices influence my home life by viewing my relationships with my spouse, family, and friends with a broader lens. During my morning movement practice, the sun salutations help me remove fears and restore some strength and flexibility into my body. When I take a moment to sit with my tea, read and reflect on my daily read, it sets my thoughts up for the day. This time allows me to have less anxiety and fear in my day. It gives my mind a theme in which to do introspection.
Mindfulness practices influence my work life by teaching me to be present. It also allows me to grow my empathy muscle and social connection with others. It helps me release the residue of the day as well. I feel as though I have given myself something, so the old cliché of “take care of you so you can take care of others” fits.
Mindfulness practices influence my relationships by giving me accountability for my behaviors or responses to situations. I am not perfect; I still have my lion’s roar (yelling moments I am a Leo); however, they come further apart as I increase my mindfulness practice. When I do have those moments, I can apologize for my share of the miscommunication and quickly learn my part. It is less about being right and more about personal growth.
My challenge and barriers to my mindfulness practice are that it is not always easy or convenient. I have had to develop creative ways to take my mindfulness routine on the road when I travel. Taking pictures before traveling on the phone of my daily read allows for easy transport. It takes planning and planning time in my daily routine to have a chance to do a mindful practice. I have found that on weekends it is tough to find thirty minutes inside my home to myself. I crave being outside in nature, so I take my dog, and we head to the beach. I walk and notice the texture of sand on my feet, the different textures of beach material, the water temperature, the patterns in the water, and so on. Permitting myself to adjust the type of mindfulness that I do helps me stay honest in my practice.
In the future, I will be taking my mindfulness practices into more distracting places. Atypical locations will allow me to grow my non-reaction to the environment around me. For example, I found I was present during the body scan, and other times I checked out and fell asleep. While I was present more than not, moving my meditation out of my common space may help me grow. Mindfulness practices are complex, and I still have a long way to go. Mindfulness is not just about my inner thoughts and feelings; it is also about becoming more aware of others. The ability to put me in another person’s shoes brings about a sense of compassion, love, and kindness.