Move mindfulness from the mind to the heart.
It’s easy to associate your “being” with what goes on in your head. It’s where all the loud action is, right? It’s where you think, plan, dream, and create. It’s also where you worry, plot, scheme, and fear.
Let’s face it, the mind can be a hot mess.
So, you turn to mindfulness as the antidote to the mess in your mind.
You try to quiet the mind. You try to tame it and get it under control. To a degree this is helpful, but the mind is designed to do all the things it does. It’s designed to be alert, to scan and then evaluate what’s going on around you. It’s meant to analyze situations and make up meanings for things. It’s not going to stop doing those things. Those things are its job.
The first level of mindfulness is the body, not the mind.
Mindfulness of the body is where it begins.
This was news to me. I always thought of mindfulness as occurring above or beyond the body. I considered it a tool to use to detach from the body and its actions. Approaching mindfulness from the top down like that though is like trying to build a building from the top down, and seriously, who would try that?
Instead, start with mindfulness of the body because you need a sense of solidity. You need to be grounded in your foundation. Those senses come from the body.
That’s what mindfulness of the body gives you.
There’s suffering in the body.
A lot of people have complicated relationships with their bodies. Too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too slow, scarred, marked, aching, poorly functioning….
The body can feel heavy. It can weigh you down. The body can get sick and break down. It will eventually decline, as your spiritual youth remains intact.
Not too many people are comfortable and at peace with the body. And staring at yourself in the mirror and marveling over what a beautiful specimen you are isn’t comfortable peace either.
So you detach from the body. You live in your head.
After all, that’s where all that delicious drama resides. Like a dog with a good bone, it’s nearly irresistible.
The mind, though, is dominated by fear and insecurity.
It’s assessments and computations are so fast that you don’t even know you’re manufacturing your own reality. The mind demands your attention, and when you try to ignore it, it gets louder.
All that loud noise in the mind makes it hard to hear the inner wisdom that comes from your heart.
If you’re not connected with your body, you’re not connected with your heart.
Your body is where your wisdom resides.
Your gut. You heart. Those two centers have their own nerve centers that send signals to every cell of your body. You have a gut brain and a heart brain.
The head brain is go-go-go and buzzing like a bunch of monkeys with espresso while the gut brain and the heart brain are calm and centered.
They’re the strong silent types. I picture them as a large sumo wrestler. He doesn’t have to make a scene. He can just stand there, and you know by his presence not to mess with him.
Add mindfulness of the body to your wellness routine.
Spend quiet time visiting with the parts of your body. Are there parts that have been sick or caused you pain?
Spend extra time with them. What do they need from you? What do they want you to know? Send love, gratitude, and forgiveness to them.
Connect with your heart. What does it want to tell you? Ask your heart the questions you haven’t been able to answer in your head.
Feel your connection to the Earth. Feel how strong and stable it is beneath you. Feel supported by it.
If your head brain tries to crash the party, tell it gently but firmly you’re spending time alone with your heart and gut right now.
Mindfulness, after all, isn’t meant to be spent in your mind.
all images open source from pixabay.ccom