This weeks Thoughtful Thursday will concentrate on looking ‘behind the mask’. Sometimes it’s easier to pretend you’re feeling ok, smiling but inside feeling like you’re falling apart. It’s ok to feel emotions, there is no need to hide behind the mask. Once you admit to yourself that you are normal to feel these emotions, it will begin to feel easier being yourself, completely.
Who you are – “just be yourself” is advice that all of us have heard, but it can be surprisingly difficult. Most of us constantly try to modulate our behaviour to present the best possible imagine. Acknowledging the need to impress or be liked can be a first step to becoming more at ease with ourselves. When you notice this impulse, try taking a breathe and letting go of the desire for approval, or remind yourself that other people’s opinions are just someone else’s passing thoughts, and nothing that need concern you.
Clean sweep – sweeping is an established practice in zen mediation, and can be a great mindfulness trick. Next time you pick up the brush to sweep your kitchen, take a pause and bring all your attention to the act. Mindfulness can turn a simple chore into a mediative experience.
Take count – counting breath is an ancient meditation technique designed to help stop the mind from wandering. You simply count each out-breath from one to ten, and then start again. The only rule – if you forget the number you are on, start from one again.
Keep going, and remember, things take time – “a flower doesn’t grow overnight”.