The Gift of Being Fully Present

Happy Labour Day Weekend.  And what a gorgeous weekend it was.  I hope you were able to enjoy some time off. Harry and I had a night with friends up near Lake Eildon communing with nature and yesterday we took our two year old grandson to Sherbrook Forest and walked through the “jungle.” It was such a pleasure watching him feed the cockatoos, finding lots of different coloured leaves and sticks of all shapes and sizes. He spent lots of time exploring which sticks and logs he could lift and which one’s he couldn’t, counting steps and asking “What’s that?”. There’s nothing like being with a child to keep you in the present moment and keep you mindful of what’s around you.  

I remember when we travelled to Central Australia my youngest daughter, Leah, was about nine years old. When we walked through gorges or through Kata Tjuta,  I actually preferred to walk with Leah than any of the adults we were travelling with. She was so aware of everything around her. She would notice the sounds around us, the birds and insects, the colours and shapes of rocks, the wild flowers and signs of animals. She constantly pointed out things that I would otherwise have missed.  I was amazed by her observational skills and I learned a lot from her appreciation of nature.   When I walked with my husband or other adults, we would make conversation about all sorts of things. We’d talk about the past or the future, where we’d been or where we were going. We’d talk about various topics we were interested in and we’d solve the problems of the world. After a while I realised I’d missed the beauty of the place we were visiting because we’d been focussed on other things. I frequently gravitated back to be with my children and to cherish the moment.   Of course being busy inside your own head, thinking about all sorts of things, and missing what’s currently happening in your life is the way most people live their lives most of the time. There’s certainly nothing wrong with have interesting conversations with yourself or other people, but it’s really does pay to stop and smell the roses (or the kangaroo droppings) from time to time.     It’s especially beneficial if your thoughts or conversations tend to be negative or stressful. Believe it or not, bringing your awareness to the present moment instantly erases anxiety about the future and regret or sadness about the past.  I was once told that depression is a result of thinking in the past and anxiety is a result of thinking in the future.  The art of mindfulness involves gathering your attention and energy in from the past and the future and tuning into “right now.” The easiest way to do that is to imagine dropping out of your head and into your heart. Be aware of your breathing and then activate all of your senses.  It’s simply a matter of becoming very aware of what you can currently hear, see, smell, feel or taste.     When you do that well enough then all negative emotions disappear. The idea is to experience the messages that are coming in through your five senses but not to name them, interpret them, give them meaning or judge them in any way. Just be aware of the quality of the sounds, the colours and shapes of the things you can see and the feeling of your clothes on your skin, etc. You may even discover that your sixth sense becomes more activated. You can teach yourself to be mindful while you’re doing very mundane things and it becomes a meditation.  You can do it while you’re walking, cleaning or ironing or even while you’re lying in bed going off to sleep.  Just notice your breathing, connect with your heart and become aware what you’re experiencing. It’s also great idea to stay very present while you’re having a massage.    I often recommend eating in a very mindful way. You’ll be surprised how little you need to eat when you keep yourself fully aware during a a meal. It’s a great way to lose weight.  Or you can try it while you’re showering. You can be very aware of the warmth of the water on your skin and the sound of the water hitting the shower base. Notice the droplets of water on the glass and the light reflected on them.  Or, of course, you can spend your time in the shower worrying about the day ahead. I know what I’d prefer.    So if you want some help learning to be more mindful, manage your thoughts and consequently manage your stress, then you might like to join us for one of our weekly Meditation Classes.  I suggest you leave all your stress and busy thoughts at the bottom of the stairs and enjoy 90 minutes of being blissfully present every Monday evening at 7pm for our Sound Healing Meditation or 30 minutes of gorgeous time out at 12.30pm on Wednesdays for our Lunchtime Meditation. When you experience this kind of meditation regularly, your mind and body learn to create it on demand and you can learn to shift your mood from anxiety or depression to a feeling of well-being. It becomes a choice rather than a diagnosis. In fact a study at the University of Exeter found that 75% of patients with depression were well enough to stop taking medication after 4 months of Mindfulness therapy.  If you suffer from anxiety of depression then keep an eye out for starting dates for the next Stress to Serenity Course and our 5 Week Mindfulness Meditation Course. We hold these courses each term and they can be life changing.    I also want to let you know that following a fantastic and inspiring Kindred Spirits Session last week with Geraldine Teggelove, this week  we’ll provide everything you need to make your own Vision Board. Geraldine’s talk explaining how the mind works and how to create the life you want reminded me of Mike Dooley’s 8 Key Principles of Manifesting. I’ll share these on Thursday at 10.30am. I hope you can join me for this week’s Kindred Spirits.  Call us to book you place on 9842 7033.

So, that’s all for now. Take a look at the Right Hand Column for information about our upcoming Weight Loss Seminar, Introduction to Chakras Seminar, Connecting to Your Intuition Card Reading Workshop and more >>>>

Have a happy, healthy, mindful week, Warm Regards, Alison Burton pioneering the future of healthcare Simply Natural Therapies 41 Tunstall Square East Doncaster VIC 3109 03 9842 7033