Wake up 2
Being present in the moment
Mark set us the challenge of being truly present, even in life's seemingly smallest moments.
As many of you know meditation has been a revelation to me. Prior to this I was awash with anxiety, almost feeding off the drama of constant worry and dissatisfaction. This manifested itself as: low self-esteem, rerunning social events feeling I had let myself and others down; gaining promotions at work and then feeling I was a fraud and couldn't do the job; anger at past events and catastrophising about the future. All the classic stuff I suppose.
About 5 years ago I woke up with pins and needles from the neck down. After many investigations lesions were found in my spinal cord. I am now left with impaired sensation and grip in both hands. It could have been a lot worse. We don't know what caused it - an episode of MS, virus, stress? Well I am sure stress played a part. At the time I was working such long hours, constantly on alert for the dreaded OFSTED and family life looking after mum and dealing with financial trickiness was all piling up.
That was when I made the decision to re-evaluate life. It has been a long road, but self compassion has been a massive part of it, as has counselling and the discovery of meditation.
So, to Mark's challenge: walking in a mindful manner. This has been great for me. I can do this walking around at work, walking around the house etc... As I set off I start noticing my feet - how they feel walking on the ground, the distribution of weight. Then I move up my body checking how it is at that given moment. Then I check my emotions and how I feel at that given moment. I try to smile outwardly and inwardly, focusing on my heart, throat and belly 'smiling' as this is where my tension lies. I notice the sounds around me and any other visual things I can notice.
This re-grounds me, brings me back to my body, rather than the chatter of my mind. I find it refreshing and renewing.
At an age when I can see so much change around me placing myself back in the wonder of the present is truly life changing.