Conscious awareness is an amazing thing in that we can direct our perception towards literally anything we choose. The practice of directing our awareness towards something in particular– like an object, a deity, or a mantra — is the essence of many focused styles of meditation.
Other forms of meditation, like mindfulness practice, invite us to witness whatever is arising, while not getting pulled into the thoughts, emotions, or sensations.
A third type of meditation know as “non-dual” seeks to dissolve the gap between the subject and object, the Observer and the Observed. In dissolving the illusion of separation, we recognize our connection to the field of fundamental consciousness. You can give it a try yourself here — you might find it shifts your awareness, even if you’re experienced in another style of meditating.
I learned this embodied form of meditation in as part of Realization Process teacher training that I did a few years ago (with Judith Blackstone. I’ve always been fascinated by what consciousness is, and how it relates to these bodies we reside in. I recently talked with fellow Realization Meditation teacher and embodiment nerd Brooke Thomas about connecting with consciousness through our bodies for a recent episode of A Healthy Curiosity. Hope you enjoy it!
A friend of mine who owns a yoga studio remarked to me the other day that even though she’s at the studio most days, she struggles to find time to go to class.
“Do you have your workouts on your calendar?” I asked her. “Well, no,” she admitted, reinforcing in my mind that if it’s not scheduled, it’s not real. (It’s her studio!)
Why has she not prioritized her own practice?
Because she’s juggling her job, her relationship, and her kids, and still sees her own mindful movement practice as a privilege: something that she gets to do once all the work is done, and everyone else’s needs are met. This is a trap a lot of Earth-type people – especially women — fall into: believing that their worth is tied up in how much they do for other people. They tend to discount and override their own needs, and their joy, in favor of taking care of others.
And then it’s easy to feel resentful, like life is just one relentless cycle of responsibilities, and like you’re missing out on having fun.
The guy on the mat next me gets it, though. “I was grouchy this morning. My wife said ‘get outta here. Go to yoga, and come back different.’ That’s why I’m here.”
One question that helps me hold myself accountable to sitting in meditation when my mind tells me I’m too busy, or, to having the discipline to enforce my own bedtime even when I’m in the middle of a good book is “who needs me on my A-game today?”
It’s a powerful re-frame (that I learned from high performance coach Brendan Burchard). Because if I don’t tend to these self-care basics, I’m more likely to snap at my husband. I’m less present for my coaching clients and patients. It takes me 3x as long to get anything done.
It’s like showing up to class without having done the homework: it feels awful.
How about you? Does your stress, anxiety, and frustration get displaced onto the people you love most? Is it perpetuating things like hormone imbalances, more frequent digestive or immune challenges, or having trouble sleeping?
Those can all tank your mood, your focus, your productivity, and your self-esteem – not to mention your relationships.
And they’re not likely to get better until you take a serious stand for yourself by establishing rock-solid routines that will allow you to move through life from a place of ease and capability.
You’re ready to start making life less chaotic. Let’s fix this.
Grab my free ebook: 5 Biohacks to Relieve Stress and start letting it go. You’ll also get other self-care tips and inspiration, just a few times a month.