Despite what many headlines imply, mindfulness doesn’t fix us. Mindfulness is a translation of the Pali term sati, to remember. It relates to a particular type of remembering, one that is compassionate, contactful and clear seeing. It calls us to drop beneath the stories we tell and look beyond conditioning that may have kept us safe earlier in life. Mindfulness encourages us remember, and be in touch with, what else is present – things like resourcefulness, interconnection, and kindness.
This is the context in which I hold the question we’re asking this month, what supports you?
Here are three ways to remember, call in and be replenished by what supports you. Each can be done in 1-5 minutes. Further down you’ll find a related, guided meditation (under 12 minutes).
Choose Your Company
Bring to mind three compassionate beings. You may or may not know them. They can be living or have passed, and include pets as well as deities, goddesses and gods. The only requirement is that you experience them as kind and generous. One at a time hold each in awareness. Notice what you see and feel in body, savoring their presence. Then write their names (or draw them) on a small piece of paper, and post on a mirror or computer, in your wallet … someplace where you’ll regularly see it. In moments of difficulty read their names and allow your body to remember their presence. You might even imagine one of them sitting to your left, one to your right, and one behind you – reacquainting yourself with what it’s like to be surrounded by support.
Feel Your Seat
Deceptively simplistic, this meditation can be quite restorative. While seated, begin sensing into points of contact your body is making with surfaces below. Note pressure, stability, warmth and any other sensations. You might also pay attention to gravity helping the lower portions of your body to ground. Notice too how you needn’t try to be held – the furnishings and floor are holding you. Is it possible to surrender to this support? Might you be open to knowing additional ways you are held every day?
Count Your Blessings
Upon waking or before going to bed, write 3-5 things you are grateful for. Alternatively, make this a meal-time ritual – beginning with everyone expressing a gratitude. People who commit to rituals like this report feeling less isolated, more attuned to the interconnectedness of their life. They also remember more readily their capacity to show up for others.
Posted by: Ashley Dahl, MSW, CMT-P / 8 Limbs Leadership Coach