Mindful-ish-ness: Breathing Deeply, Feeling Fully and Putting on "Perspectacles"

I've been working with a brain rewiring program with myself and some clients to bring more mindfulness and joy and peace into our lives this last year. I realize (again) how this isn't something to achieve and move on from - i.e. check it off the list.... it's a practice and the tools really do build to support myself in being in my life in a more fulfilling way - more present ... a bit slower inner pace...
When I'm connected to my heart I find it easier to remember that my truer quests are for connection, peace, love, contribution, play (i.e. not perfectionism or security.) It's equally helpful to remember that all these things are actually available to me in every moment. Yes it's true - as soon as I put my "perspectacles" on(thanks Glendon) well there they all are - everything I am reaching for in the future - joy - oh hello there... love ..there you are ... peace .....what's up you sweet thing ...
Questions like "What is the victory here?/What is going well in this moment?/What am I so grateful and thankful for right now?" are like the placing of my perspectacles squarely on the bridge of my nose. They are often that first step in bringing me to a place of gratitude, a new perspective where I can see that there are bits at least of what I'm searching for ... here already.

On reflection of this past year I see I have received many gifts in the challenging moments of this last year. It's an old habit of mine to not breathe deeply during perceived stresses/ challenges. Funny that when I come up for air and take those first couple deep conscious breaths how everything starts to shift. It is as if breath and inner wisdom and true sight are linked. When I start to breathe deeply again then among other things I realize that actually I was only standing knee deep in water and holding my breath truly wasn't helping ... at all ! (-:  Ahhh the good ol' full nourishing breath - first thing to go to when my mind starts to worse case scenario it or give the marching orders.

Now this is where you could pause, close your eyes,  take a couple slow full gentle breaths and allow a wave of relaxation to wash over your face and leave a tiny sweet smile in its wake...

From the place of calm let's reflect on what lights us up - what truly brings you joy or peace or contentment....

Here's what I'm finding - in getting really, palpably honest with myself I see how it is the very simple things and moments and interactions that bring me the most joy ... an inner quiet warm joy vs a Woohoo joy. Don't get me wrong - I like the woohoo  - in my 20's my law-abiding Australian travelling mates stole a huge bristol board sign from outside a fast food restaurant which had the words Woohoo! on it and spent a nice chunk of their backpacking budget posting it to me. So yes for much of my life letting a loud and proud "woohoo!" emerge has often been how I have determined and shared that I'm having a good time and experiencing joy - and I notice it tires me out a bit when there's nothing really underneath it when I take a look/feel inside. 
I'm getting more interested in feeling it on the inside - the texture, temperature, movement inside that is the expansion of wonder, the warmth and softness of love, the clearness of strength, the stillness and slowness of an emerging quiet joy, of feeling connected.  It's the simple things isn't it ? Shared meal with friends, catching a beam of sunlight illuminate a mountain peak/mossy tree trunk, my children's laughter, holding hands, good poetry, the sweet smell and touch of my sleeping child's warm cheek ...

I am finding plenty of opportunity to give myself the permission I give to my kids to : do something over, to take time out, to do a take 2 ... to laugh at my old sticky habits ...

When I give myself the compassion and love I give my kids and stop pretending I have this being human thing and this loving and living thing figured out ... well, looking back I see that these lighthearted, tender moments are also among my highlights of this last year.

This time of year can be a powerful time to reflect on the past year and receive inner guidance. It is a quiet time these first days of the new year ... if we can create a little time to ourselves to pause and reflect.

I am so grateful and thankful  for the teachers, tools and support in my life that keep me saneish and mindful-ish.  I can not say enough about the far-reaching benefits of cultivating a daily practice of connection and discovering the tools that help you stay centered enough in the day-to-day to really soak in the simple extraordinariness of being alive. Mindfulness practices, yoga, deep breaths, humour, grounded questions, clear intentions  and my friends are some tools that help me to find the way back again and again to this sweet moment.

What's helps you feel empowered, present and less reactive?
What do you really enjoy or want to invite more of in your life?
Let's focus on and grow these in 2015. 
Love, peace and joy to you and your family... (-:
Dr. Monika Herwig ND

Mindfulness Meditation/Present Moment Parenting Classes starting in Canmore Jan. 15th at Elevation Place - Waldorf-inspired.