My mother took her life during my high school finals. She willed the family home, furniture, and belongings to her sister, so my father, my sister, and I moved into a small empty apartment across a grassy park with swings and a jungle gym. We purchased the bedrooms, coffee and side tables, sofas, loveseat, and dining room set from a local furniture store. Everything in the flat was new.
After graduation, I worked at my father’s hotel. I would come home for lunch and sit on the sofa alone, wanting to chill and ponder the morning looking out the window, but I couldn’t. My mind kept going elsewhere. I was running away from here, from now. It was painful.
Years have passed since then, but lately, I’ve awakened breathing slowly, holding the edge of the kitchen counter, looking out the window over the sink at the mountains in the distance, and I realize I’m calmly enjoying my moment; staying here. What I’ve wanted to do for over forty years.
Unraveling memories, separating sensation from emotion and thought, and putting together two calming approaches.
First, (meta-awareness) to store what type of distracting thoughts took me away from the moment.
Second, to fully experience the richness of our emotions by staying with them for a short while.
When I interpret body sensations as feelings, I take them back to sensations, take deep, controlled breaths, and the emotions melt away.
After the meditation, I assess what kind of thoughts distracted me, to get an idea of what I’m wanting to say.
By Susan Scott Morales, MSW
This probably sounds contradictory but when we meditate on a memory we are focusing on its impact in the present moment. Try it with something non-anxiety provoking that happened recently. What happens? When you remember a joke, you laugh in the present. If you recall a near accident in hitting a chipmunk crossing the road, doesn’t your face scrunch up?
In today’s meditation you’ll choose a pleasant memory that will help you achieve your intention for today. For example, if you want to feel peaceful, you’ll remember a moment you felt peaceful.
I usually meditate on whatever technique I’m suggesting and today was no exception. The results were so satisfying! The memory I recalled was being in a silent retreat in India. I felt an instantaneous flood of sensations – my posture became more easeful, my face softened and my mind became still. Even more gratifying was the exalted state of happiness that accompanied the meditation. So, I encourage you to go for the highest!
In your comfortable meditation setting and posture, close your eyes and begin to allow your body and head to sway gently. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Now bring your body back to being still, keeping the relaxation. Breath deeply and exhale long. Now lift your shoulders, take them back and then let them drop down. Repeat this a few times. Breath again deeply, taking your time to exhale. Now let your breathing return to normal.
Begin to recall the memory you’ve selected for the meditation today. Perhaps you are already in it. This is the point. Be in the memory as fully as possible. Use all your senses. Imagine what you look like in the memory. How does your body feel? What is your minding focusing on? Bring in whatever smells, textures and sounds that fill in the experience. Now get a panoramic view, taking everything into yourself as if it was happening for the first time.
This is your experience. Right now. You are feeling whatever it is you want to feel. Now meditate on this feeling. Let it take over your body and your mind completely. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to the feeling that you’ve chosen to focus on. Enjoy your meditation.
WE&P by: EZorrillaM.