I think that what this year has taught me most is how important to be able to “go with the flow” for a healthy mind and body. Our tendency as human beings is often to want things (like situations, events or circumstances) to be different to how they are. This causes a resistance within the mind and body to that particular circumstance; leading to a dissatisfaction or anger of how things are. If we are not aware of how we are feeling, this causes a constriction within the body almost as if we are hardening against the experiences we do not want. We might also notice our breathing becoming constricted too. I call this blocking.
Another way in which we might respond to situations not being the way we want them to be is to go completely the other way, to the opposite end of the spectrum from hardening against to drowning within the situation. This looks and feels like resignation, giving up, withdrawal from engaging in life. It’s not hard to see how one might feel depressed and passive.
The middle way is acceptance, where we work with the situation being the way it is. This is an active state where we are open and receptive and responsive to the changing situation-taking it all in our stride.
Of course there have been many things about 2020 which we may not have wanted to accept like the loss of social contact with family and friends. Blocking and drowning responses do not change the situation, they alter your experience of the situation to feeling more difficult and less pleasant. Acceptance feels softer somehow and is more pleasant. It might also be a more creative approach as we might seek alternative ways to maintain contact with others, find new routes to walk, challenge ourselves to new pursuits. It may not be easy however our mindfulness practice is slowly and gently shaping the structure and function of our brains towards becoming more accepting and compassionate towards ourselves and others -and whatever Covid 19 brings … perhaps!
I will be running the Breathworks eight week mindfulness for stress course online in 2021. This can either be on a 1 to 1 basis or in groups. If you are interested please contact me for further details.
The meditation group will be meeting on zoom in 2021, commencing on January 27 at 7 PM-9 PM. The cost is £7 per session however if you have not yet joined us in the monthly meditation group, your first session is completely free of charge! If you need the zoom joining details, please contact me.