Can you believe we are almost through the month of July? And that there are only 5 more months left in 2012? How are you feeling about your mindfulness practice so far? I definitely have weeks that are better than others. Sometimes I don’t think about being mindful until Friday; one of those “oh crap, I haven’t practiced this week” moments.
Can you relate to that? I think that is the beauty of this practice. It’s hard. We know it’s hard. And being imperfect is all part of the learning process. I mean, how cool is it knowing that if you blow it one week, it’s okay to just start over again. No guilt. No shame. No wagging finger and a voice saying “tsk, tsk, tsk.”
Okay, so where were we? Ah, last week. Becoming aware of what is above us. How often did you practice “look up” and move your awareness beyond whatever is immediately in front of you?
Well, what I just said about if you blow it one week you can start over? That was me. In fact the past couple of weeks have been challenging with other things being front and center in my mind. I am practicing mindfulness but in other areas not related to our weekly practice. It is still all good.
This Week’s Practice: Awareness of Defining & Defending Yourself
This is another interesting practice. Dr. Bays asks us to become aware of how we define ourselves and how we defend ourselves and our personal territory. One thing she’s talking about here is labeling and how we defend our position. (And with this being an election year, there is a whole lot of labeling and defending going on.)
The timeliness of this practice is curious as I’ve been working on branding in my business. Talk about an exercise in defining oneself!
So how frequently do you define yourself each day? How often are you defending your position(s)? Is this an inherent aspect of human nature considering it seems to start when we are very young?
A good example of this is watching children play with their toys. What sometimes happens when you expect the child to share…the child scoops up his toys and says “No, mine.” Next thing you know we’re older and still defining ourselves by our possessions. Or we take a position on a particular topic and will argue that our opinion is the only right one. (If you want to challenge yourself some more, go back to the practice on saying yes.)
What is the point of this practice? To become aware that this thing we call “self” isn’t something we can defend because in reality the self is a process of constantly changing sensations and thoughts. How can you defend something that is always in flux?
Reflection: He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened. –Lao Tzu