Tag Archives: mindfulness

Just breathe. Just be.

Every time I breathe consciously, I ground myself. Every time I remember to pay attention to where I am – when I notice my feet on the ground, my butt in my seat, my fingers on the keyboard of my computer – I build a stronger foundation with which to move forward. When I pay attention to how I am – when I observe my breath, the beating of my heart, my calmness (or lack thereof) – I remind myself to be.

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness. It is so easy to rush forward, not seeing where I am, not present to what’s going on around – and inside – of me.

But when I breathe. When I pause. When I intentionally notice, there is so much to notice. There is so much to enjoy. To relish.

All I have to do is stop.

All I have to do is stop trying. Stop trying to make it better. Stop trying to make it more. Stop trying to achieve and overachieve.

Stop trying to keep myself safe (because I am safe). Stop trying to make up for all that’s wrong with me (because nothing is wrong with me). Stop trying to anticipate and solve and soothe everyone and everything around me.

My husband teases me at times. “Get out of your head,” he jokes. “Stop thinking about everything so much.” Not thinking about everything so much does not come naturally to me. I’m trained at reading the room, assessing the danger points, and noting what people want and need – even before they note it at times. My warped reasoning can reason that these skills kept me safe when I was younger, so these skills are needed to keep me safe now.

I no longer need to be mindful of the lay of the land to be safe. I am safe. I just need to be mindful. And more mindful.

I just need to breathe. And be.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash

Categories: Hope and Amazement, Tags:

There is no right or wrong

I can get SO caught in this. Trying to do what’s “right.” Terrified of doing what’s “wrong.”

These are old thought patterns – this belief that there is a “right” and “wrong.”

I was talking to a Second Generation the other day (someone who was born and raised in the Unification Church). We were laughing at the conundrum of being caught between “right” and “wrong” when there is no right and wrong. But boy, we were taught it, and boy is that learning a tough thing to put down.

When you’re taught that mankind has failed God endlessly – from Adam and Eve down to people on the street today – you become quite fearful of failing God. When you’re taught that even a quick sense of doubt as to the Truths you have been given is Satan himself doing all he can to pry you away from God and the path of righteousness, you come to doubt your own brain, your own thoughts, your own intuition, and your own best knowing.

You get really afraid of getting it “wrong.”

I now know there isn’t a right and wrong. And I now recognize when I get caught in the endless loop of fear. False Evidence Appearing Real, as I’ve written here in the past.

It will be wonderful when one day my mind doesn’t quickly jump to judging myself (and everything around me). It will be wonderful when I no longer have to breathe through the doubts and the panic. It will be wonderful when panic and anxiety – irrational panic and anxiety – don’t consume me. And until that day, I will keep reminding myself that there is no right and wrong, and that, therefore, I can’t get it all wrong. I will keep reminding myself of all that is right, of all that is good, of all that is beautiful.

And even if I do get it all wrong, there is always another chance. There is always another moment. There is always another opportunity to come to this day with love.

I was taught the FEAR of right and wrong. I was taught the responsibility of not messing that up. I was taught the burden of not letting God down. And I can learn – and have learned – different things.

I know that this terror of right and wrong isn’t mine alone. I know that many people who weren’t raised in cults also live their days ruled by this lie. I know that we all can – one moment at a time, one breath at a time – live a different way.

Because there is no right and wrong.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Recovery, , , Tags:

There’s no time like the present to be present

Have you ever promised yourself you’ll be more present? And then gone on to be pulled away from the moment you’re in?

It happens to me all the time.

My childhood was pretty much an exercise in learning not to be present. I was taught to “pay indemnity” (to suffer for God) in order to absolve my ancestors of their many failings and sins and to protect my descendants from having to suffer to atone for my failings and sins. That certainly trains one to focus on the past and future, and to see the present only as an opportunity to endure anything and everything for God.

My childhood experiences also taught me to over-everything. My overachieving, over-sweetness, over-tolerance, and over-responsibility probably helped save my life and psyche. But all those overs are certainly one more way to pull me away from what is here and now.

My childhood in a cult with my mom, the instability of the “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” lifestyle of my dad, and the clash of cultures from being stuck between them certainly molded me into my hyper-vigilant and hyper-reactive self. All of this, perhaps needless to say, pulls one away from the present. And away from the present again.

So, when my yoga instructor instructed us in this thought, perhaps, again needless to say, a huge smile came to my face. “There’s no time like the present to be present,” she said. “There’s no time like now to be more present,” I thought.

There are so many distractions to pull me out of my moment. There are so many things to worry about and think about and obsess about. Or there are my feet on the ground – and during my yoga class, my body on my mat – to pull me back to now.

There’s no time like the present to get present again. And again. And again. There’s no time like this instant to breathe consciously and focus on my now. To see what’s actually in front of me, to calm my racing mind, to notice and appreciate.

I may have been, in many ways, taught and trained to stay as far out of the present as possible. I may have escaped my reality in order to feel safer, or more in control, or less sinful. But I don’t have to escape anymore. I am safe.

And I can be present. Because there’s no time like the present to be present.

PS – if you’re practicing yoga, and looking for a new mat, I’ve stumbled across this list of the best yoga mats. Perhaps it will help you ☺

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Resilience, , Tags: