Welcome to Week Eight of Reset Button's Online Mindfulness Course.
Week Eight: Your Wild And Precious Life
Week eight is the rest of your life! So think about what is important to you. Is it important to be perfect? To finish your to do list? To rehash the past over and over in order to find some different conclusion to what has already passed? To worry about what might happen but might not? Or is it to live the beauty of each moment. To notice a drop of water on a leaf, the smile of a loved one and how that makes you feel deep inside, the warmth of a ray of sunshine or a duvet cover on your skin. Mindfulness is about having more choice, so what would you choose?
Of course it is not always easy. Life can be difficult. We can have difficult feelings, but perhaps you have noticed that you are able to cope with things a little better. That you have a different perspective of the challenges in your life. That you have internal resources that can bring you a better sense of calm or happiness that have nothing to do with what is happening in the world around you. That you can carry with you wherever you are and whoever you are with.
These difficult feelings should also be welcomed. They are what make us the fully functioning, incredible human beings that we are. They can guide us and let us know when we are not relating to others, the world or ourselves in a way that is not helpful. They are signs that we need to pay attention.
If you can become aware and open to all that arises within you with compassion, then you open the door to a radically different approach to life. One in which you can live fully today, in this moment and not some day in the future when you are on holiday or have bought that house or got that job or had a family. Because after all, this moment is the only one we have. So Mindfulness is about becoming fully engaged in the life you have and not the one you wish you had. It is about realising that that life is just as it should be, moment by moment.
Week Eight's Audio Session (11 minutes)
Practices for Week Eight and onwards
Mindfulness is for the rest of your life. So how do you create your ongoing practice?
Everyone finds their own way of bringing mindfulness into their lives. For some it is about a general attitude and a series of informal practices such as walking mindfully. For others it is about mediating every day. So here are some suggestions for you. See which ones you most connect with.
When you first open your eyes in the morning, try not looking at your phone, try not to start planning your day, don't jump out of bed. Try starting the day with mindfulness. Take 10 conscious breaths and follow them with your attention. If you notice anything uncomfortable, thoughts, feelings and sensations, breathe with them and watch as they come and go or fluctuate. There’s no need to change them. Accept them - as they are already here. Then take a few moments to stretch gently.
Use the three-minute breathing space to punctuate your day. This will help you to bring more peace and calm to your daily life as well as enable you to have more choices.
Maintain your mindfulness practice as best you can by continuing with your formal meditations. Regular practice will keep you on an even keel and you will continue to discover incredible insights that can transform your life. Even if you can just manage five minutes a day it will make a big difference. Then if you can, extend to twenty minutes a day. So either incorporate it into your daily routine, or even just do it on your journey to work, or take five or ten minutes at lunch time to find a quiet space.
Try bringing mindfulness to normal activities. For example, when you are washing up, feel the water, the plates, and the changing sensations in your hands. When you are outside, look around and observe the sights, sounds and smells of the world around you. Can you feel the pavement through your shoes? Can you taste or smell the air? Can you feel it moving through your hair and caressing your skin?
Be open to ALL of your feelings with kindness and compassion. Remember that you are a whole and complete human being and part of that is having thoughts and feelings. Sometimes when there is a gap between where we are and where we want to be, these can be intense and that is normal. This will help you to act not react.
Remember the breath. The breath is always there for you. It anchors you in the present it is like a good friend. It reminds you that you are okay just as you are.
Can you practice some mindfulness every day? All it takes is one minute!
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SOME BOOKS FOR YOU TO READ???
IN YOUR JOURNAL
Make yourself a plan for your ongoing practice.
Make a time for your formal practice that you found worked best for you and make it your regular mediation time.
You can choose to either pick a guided meditation from those you have here, or you can set a timer, set an intention for your practice, e.g. watching the breath, letting go of judgment, observing thoughts, observing emotions and sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
Write down the informal practices that you have most enjoyed, and try to incorporate them into your life from time to time.
Now go back to your initial intention for taking the course? How do you feel about this now?
REMEMBER: Q&A FORUM FOR WEEK EIGHT - WE WILL CHECK IN AT TIMES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK AND REPLY TO YOUR QUESTIONS. CLICK HERE TO GO TO FORUM