Mindfulness Tips Blog...
Life is precious. In our rush to get things done, planning for the future, or taking care of daily needs, we tend to overlook this simple yet profound truth. So, it's not surprising that we lose sight of the importance of pausing to connect with this very life. We forget what it's like to breathe, to sense the breath coming into the body, or to check in with this body, heart and mind. It's so important to recognize the life that is right here, beyond the thinking and doing.
A Sacred Pause...
"What would it be like if, right in the midst of this busyness, we were to consciously take our hands off the controls?" Tara Brach
Can you take some moments to pause and check in? What if this were your last moment? Your last breath? Would you want to spend it getting frustrated with your spouse, or children, or surfing the internet? Take a few moments to feel your feet on the ground, and the aliveness that is coursing through your body. Can you sense the preciousness of this very life?
This pausing to be with things as they are, is what Tara Brach calls the Sacred Pause. Sacred because of how precious this very moment is. It is also an opportunity to take a break from being on the treadmill of thinking and doing. To connect with the life that is around and inside us.
So what stops us? Sometimes it is that we are caught up in moving through life as if it something to do; another project to be managed. We interact with life as if it's something to be managed, manipulated and controlled. And here's the sad part, connecting with life in this way creates suffering. We suffer, because instead of taking in the good, pausing to connect with joy, with this wakeful presence that is always here, we relate to life through a lens of how it should be, rather than how it is. We get caught in "If only mind" or "If____then____." We hit the pause button on life and chase after some delusion about the way we want ourselves, others, or life to be. The sad part is that life doesn't have a pause button. It is a journey to be traveled and the only thing you need to bring along is the mind, body and heart. When we do this, we broaden the lens, we see beyond our list of things to do, beyond the way we want things to be and we connect with how life is in this moment. Doing this we connect with acceptance, wisdom and compassion. We connect with loved ones, we see the joy, the sadness, the sorrow and we respond with compassion towards ourselves and others.
This is the invitation to awaken and connect with the wisdom and compassion that is right here. The first step is letting go of striving, of trying to manage life and in doing so we come into direct contact with life as it is. We discover what it is to be fully alive. We leave stop chasing perfection and instead meet this moment with an open mind and an open heart. And in this letting go there is freedom to be just as you are. And when suffering arises we can shift from the story of how things would be different, if only____ to loving presence. To the aliveness in this body, mind and heart. So I invite you today to take a moment or moments. Hit the pause button on the story line that is going on in your mind. Shift your attention to the flow of life that is here in the body. Feel the breath as it enters, this is life flowing through you. What a miracle! Can you be present for it? As Mary Oliver invites us to reflect on, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Here's the full poem:
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention,
how to fall down into the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed,
how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?—Mary Oliver
May you be well...
Cindy Ricardo is a compassionate and experienced Psychotherapist, Gentle Yoga Teacher and Mindfulness Meditation Guide. She facilitates a Dharma/Meditation Circle in Weston and Coral Springs alternatively, 3 times a month at 11am on Sundays. Her focus is on helping others learn about peaceful practices that help cultivate insight, connect with wisdom and awaken the compassionate heart. For more information about her please visit acaringcounselor.com, contact her at 954 793 6442 or email her at wbmindfulness.