Mindful Monday Edition #1

Yesterday I had a moment with a friend of mine from the yoga community.  The beautiful Megan Zamora, of Outlaw Yoga, in Littleton, CO hosted a free meditation class, and I found myself drawn to join her.  We spent some time connecting with each other, and got carried away in our conversation, and realized that we were late in starting our meditation.  Now, instead of fighting the reality of that situation, Megan simply acknowledged the beautiful cultivation of community that we had been sitting in with each other, and then gently guided us to the mat for meditation. 

 photo credit: MeditationBeautiful.com

photo credit: MeditationBeautiful.com

That meditation was the first I had done in weeks.  It was hard.  My mind was all over the place.  In judgement of my mistakes, and misguided words or actions over the past week.  Caught up in the ego of what I hope to create for my life in the future, or the regrets of my past.  Yet in community, I was able to come back to the mindfulness of the meditation over and over....and over again.  

What I realized was that the practice of the meditation...for me....had a purpose.  Not to sit in perfection, but to sit in pure imperfection and have the opportunity to simply bring myself back, without judgement, without shame.  If I hadn't had a wandering mind, I wouldn't have had the beautiful chance to observe it in the moment.  To see it without judging it.  We spend so much time judging, shaming, and berating ourselves.  Whether it be with food, substances, or unhealthy thought patterns....we tend to scold ourselves for falling out of the "right" way of being.  

What is Love? Love is the absence of judgement...
— The Dalai Lama

What I felt yesterday was an opportunity to drop "right" or "wrong" in my being, and to just BE.

It's not always easy.  It's often tedious, and difficult.  But to simply be....is simply freeing.  

At the end of Megan's Outlaw Yoga Class....we lay on the mat in savasana.  I found my self struggling to simply be on the mat.  Wanting to fidget, move...make myself more comfortable.  And I really heard the guidance which she offered up as we stepped off the mat, and went on our way.  Paraphrased of course, but here is the gist.....Stay in your habits, patterns, and ways of being if you like....you can do that.  OR, take your yoga with you.  Choose to be mindful of your choices and actions...break your patterns.  Choose what you do with purpose.  

I came home...and everything I did last night, was a mindful choice.  I read a book instead of looking at my face book on my phone.  I chose to get into bed at a reasonable time.  I chose to rise early today and get on my mat for meditation.  I am still struggling with meditation.  It's hard! But I did it.  I did it before my coffee.  Before my breakfast...before I touched my computer.  It wasn't easy.  It took effort and a conscious choice on my part.  But, I did it.  It was easier than yesterday.  It came with less struggle, but still provided me with multiple and abundant chances to practice coming back to my breath without judgement or shame for myself.  

As we enter into this week, I hope that you can find some time, even if it is only a moment, even if it is only one breath, that you can find a moment to sit with your self in presence.  Feel your body, feel your breath.  And focus fully on the experience of just being.  If you find yourself too distracted by your thoughts to do it....simply try again.  Without judgement.  Even if it's hard.  Give yourself just one breath...it's a start. That one breath, will be one more than you took the day before.