Mindfulness practice is a way to come into here and now — to be present in the moment.

Through mindfulness we can bring awareness into our thought patterns and recognize that we have a choice about what we are thinking about. Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways, such as the Buddhist practice of mindful walking, or paying attention to the five senses, or even mindful eating. In my counselling and breathwork sessions, the mindfulness practice focus is “thoughts, feelings and sensations.”

Our mind is generally consumed with past and future thoughts, such as being critical of self and others, blame, worry, resistance, comparing and obsessing. Mindfulness practice helps us to become aware of this. We are not what our mind is obsessively thinking about. When we are present with our thoughts, feelings and sensations, there is an awareness of the moment that opens to a space between an action outside of us and our inner reaction to that action — to be in a state of Presence. In this state, I don’t have to suppress the emotion I feel nor do I have to let the emotion take over. I have the presence to feel the resulting sensations in my body and I have the choice to let go of discomfort or tension.

As we connect with the present moment more and more we become more present and more in Presence. Generally, and for me personally, this is a lifetime practice.

These are challenging times. The good news is that “challenge” has the potential to motivate us to do the inner work. Mindfulness practice is a way in and helps us to see and experience differently than before.

When we feel anxious, triggered or reactive, it can be helpful to ask ourselves these three questions:

1) What am I thinking right now?

2) What emotion is there?

3) What’s going on in my body?

Then take a moment to breathe and invite in Presence. What thoughts are there? Am I ruminating, turning an old thought pattern over and over relentlessly? Noticing and focusing on breath and the tendency to ruminate opens up thought processes and creates space and options, allowing for insight.

What emotion is there? Is it fear I feel? Sadness? A combination? Notice and let it be. Let yourself feel it. Know that it is safe to feel it.

Breathe and invite in Presence.

What physical sensations do I feel in my body right now? Am I tight or gripping anywhere? Breathe. It’s safe to let it go.

 The questions and the practice give us access to Presence. Presence is an opening to a stabilizing and insightful support within us. The journey leads us to recognize more and more this unshakeable place within us.

If you are interested in booking a breathwork therapy or counselling session with Deedee Poyner, RPC, email us at info@evolvevancouver.ca