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Dear Mindfulness Meditation,
We've been going strong for over ten years now, and when we first met during my travels in Thailand in 2006, I never expected you would change my life the way you did. I know, I know, it hasn't always been easy, and I sometimes (often) take you for granted, but if there's one thing I know in this life it's that you'll always be there for me with open arms.
At first, when I didn't know you very well I actually played hard to get. Do you remember that? What kept me coming back to you in those early days were your promises and my intentions for an open heart, and stillness in a world swirling with activity.
What more do we need to know about each other to be together?
You quickly became my refuge.
You taught me to see clearly, things I don't normally see because I'm distracted, hiding, overlooking them, or running from them. You show me that when I slow down enough, the things I think matter, the superficial things, fall away, and what is revealed is how my mind functions, and how my heart responds.
You gently remind me how I take so much of this amazing life for granted. Everyday things like the breath or being able to walk are gifts that I tend to forget when I'm wrapped up in my own world. Yet when we sit together, in your presence I remember that they are indeed precious, and I don't need to wait for an illness that threatens to take them away to remind me.
Sometimes when I notice how much I take this life for granted, unintentionally pushing things away, holding on to other things, and manipulating this life to be one I think I should be living, I get angry with myself, expecting more. Despite my mood swings, you let me be angry and tell me to live this life that is unfolding with all of its disappointments and surprises. With you, I begin to believe that I'm worthy and that no part of me deserves to be left outside the door.
With your help I now see that the acceptance of who I am in this moment is a radical act of healing that is my birthright, and that no matter how many people tell me they love and accept me and think I am worthy, only I have that capacity to free myself of false beliefs right here in this moment.
You've also made me more compassionate, not just to myself but to others, too. When you and I come together in an open field of attention, and I bring my intimacy to this open field, I get to explore the intricate ways joy feels, or confusion, or having a strong opinion. In your presence, I become so familiar with my experiences that when I'm faced with someone who is full of joy, I remember how it feels and can rejoice with them, or when someone has a strong opinion, I remember the hardening, protecting, controlling qualities, and I soften. Basically, you give me permission to fully be me, which allows me to let others fully be themselves, too.
I particularly look forward to the moments of pure love you surprise me with, a love that doesn't exist in even the best romance novels. It's such a simple love that is the result of just paying attention and not wishing this moment was different in any way.
With your unwavering presence in my life, my mind has become more pliable, flexible, stable, calm, and my heart more open, soft, resilient, curious.
Thank you. Just... Thank you.