Take a few mindful breaths.
Allow yourself now to notice any emotions or feelings you are experiencing right now, in this moment…
Often, we relate with our emotions or feelings in one of two ways. We may tend to ignore our feelings and emotions to push through our experiences; or, we dive into them and cling to them in a way that defines who we are. We may view our feelings as good or bad, positive or negative. In Mindfulness practice, our feelings are viewed as neither good nor bad, they just are what they are. Feelings may be uncomfortable or difficult; or, they may be comfortable or easy. But, regardless, none of them are viewed as wrong or something we want to get rid of, they just simply are!
This week’s practice is simply Noticing Feeling & Emotions that you are experiencing in the moment you are feeling them, with gentle, non-judgemental awareness, loving acceptance and gentle curiosity.
You can do this practice in two ways. First, as formal practice, which means taking time to sit, be present and work with the practice for a period of time (5 or 1o minutes is a great start). Secondly, you can practice it as an “on the spot meditation” – when you notice a feeling or emotion arise, you simply take a few moments to tune in and work with practice.
One of the things than can begin to happen as we work with this type of mindfulness practice is that we come to see our feelings and emotions as fluid. Rather than attaching to them as we humans tend to do, we can come to see that our feelings and emotions come and go just as waves crashing upon the shore come in and go out – some are bigger, some are smaller, some are stronger, some are weaker but, none of them stay the same all the time! This awareness can create a sense of freedom and spaciousness.
- Begin with a few mindful breaths. If it’s helpful, label the breaths “breathing in and breathing out”.
- Then, allow yourself now to notice any emotions or feelings you are experiencing. You may be able to name the emotion or it may just be a vague sort of feeling, either way is okay.
- Begin to notice where the feeling or emotion is located in your body – your head, throat, chest, stomach, abdomen, gut? Notice if the physical sensation moves or shifts as you bring awareness to it.
- Notice any sensations connected to the feeling or emotion – heat or cold, anxiousness or calm, contraction or expansion…
- Allow yourself to be present and observe any shifts or changes in your feelings and emotions and/or any physical sensations in your body connect to them as you continue noticing feelings and emotions for as long as you feel to practice.
- Finally, bring your awareness back to your breath for a couple of minutes.
“Think you’re destined to respond the same way emotionally to the same old triggers? Not necessarily so, says Sharon Begley. With a little mind training, you can chart new pathways “
Learn more about mindfulness, neuroplasticity and changing how we respond emotionally in Rewiring Your Emotions.
I hope you’ll take some time this week to explore Noticing Feelings & Emotions.
As always, feel free to drop a note about your experience in the comments below or join my Meditation & Mindfulness In A Rapidly Changing World group on Facebook to stay connected throughout the week.