Sunday, 3 March 2013

To guide or be guided?

Well I was just about to sit down to Dancing on Ice with a glass of wine when a thought struck me.  It said...Let's meditate.  I nearly fell off the sofa!!  Give up Dancing on Ice to pause, be still, sit quietly and reflect?  Are you mad!  It's the semi-final!  But having broadcast that I was trying to be "Mindful in March" I thought I'd better pay attention to my good mindful angel (let's call her Miranda) and ignore the negative self talk coming from my bad mindful angel (otherwise known as Maud - cos she get's a bit maudlin - you see what I did there!).

So I put DOI on live pause, left the wine in the fridge and got me some meditation.  The usual question I ask myself at this time is "guided" or "non-guided"?  If I'm really in the zone then I adopt a DIY approach, sitting quietly, paying attention to my breath or sounds, whatever my chosen focus is and seeing what happens.  If I'm feeling lazy and have a head full of butterflies, I stick on a guided meditation (I have a few on my phone/ipod to choose from).  This way, I can just be told how to do it - it's an easy option - or is it?  Because whilst I think that's the case sometimes I find, as I did tonight that I'm telling the lovely Mark Williams (top mindfulness guy from Oxford) to shut up!  Try as I might to follow his instructions (and they are excellent by the way), I just could not go with the flow.  I wanted peace, quiet and to see what emerged by myself.  So, no offence to Mark, but I was much happier when he'd finished and I could just spend a few more minutes just paying attention to my breath, hands on tummy, watching the rise and fall and resting in the stillness.  I think the learning here was that my mind told me what I needed (easy life - guided meditation) but the opposite was true.  By paying attention and noticing what was happening I saw what I actually wanted, rather than what I thought I did!

Here's the meditation I (tried) to do this evening.  It's called Mindfulness Meditation of the Body and Breath.  It's a lovely one to have available on your phone/ipod - you could do it whilst waiting for a bus/travelling/at lunch-time as it's only short and easy to fit into a busy life.

As Mark says "This eight-minute meditation is a brilliant introduction to Mindfulness. It will begin the process of putting you back in control of your life".  It's  taken from his book ‘Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World’, co-written with Danny Penman.

One point to note, there is one bit in it where he mentions "putting both legs centre stage in your awareness".  I don't know why but it makes me laugh everytime!  I just get a really great image of someone on stage holding up two legs - a bit Kenny Everett!  Maybe it's just me!  Anyway, there's nothing wrong with having a giggle when meditating!

Have a restful Sunday and a lovely mindful week!



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