Learning to become more mindful is a journey and we know not all journeys are smooth sailing. It does take time to get from 30 seconds of attempting to be non-thinking to a perfected 30 minutes of mindful meditation. Some never get there but that’s ok too – if you can get to three minutes, you will get to five and five will change the course of your day. I am not saying five is the destination – keep journeying – but 3-5 is a good switch flicked towards pointing yourself in the right direction.
I am primarily interested in mindfulness as a therapy; as a way to control your pain – be that crippled with arthritis or raw nerved from your dysfunctional family or self-harmed by your own thinking patterns. Mindfulness will give you a sense of control. Mindfulness will set you apart from the pain, move you out of cognitive dissonance and attachment to pain. Mindfulness gifts you some distance – something every journey requires.
Sometimes pain can make us long for quick results. Sometimes change can be a daunting task. Do not get disheartened – you have survived this far and now you are arming yourself with skills to defeat your pain and unease. Things take time – that is just how it is. A journey is not just movement towards or away from – but a progression over time. We get there in the end. Even a tree was once a seed.
Go hug a tree – If you haven’t a mature tree in your garden go visit the local park or the botanic gardens and give a tree a hug. Worst case scenario – I will testify on your behalf in court if needs be. Get over your fear of embarrassment – break your rigidity. So what if passers-by sneer. The hug you give is not just to the tree but to yourself and your journey.
As you hug, extend from you heart gratitude to the tree for being the lungs of the world, it gifts us oxygen and it absorbs carbon dioxide and other atmospheric gasses. Inhale the goodness it exhales – exhale that gratitude that it will feed upon. Feel its solidity – its stature and strength. It was once a seed. What an accomplishment. Inhale its inspiration, exhale your appreciation.
What did it do to get there- it simply germinated and grew from moment to moment to moment. Nothing else. Nature becomes. Your nature is to become too. Mindfulness will germinate your seed. Mindfulness will let you grow moment to moment to moment. In the last moments of your hug – cherish the moment.