Awareness and Mindfulness during Grief
Being mindful is being aware and fully awake in this moment right now. We can develop awareness by paying attention with mindful contemplation to each experience and situation without resistance, without judgement, without analysing and without reacting. A moment to moment awareness can help us to become grounded in the present.
Yes, I know it sounds rather simplistic. Just start with one moment, event, activity at a time. Start looking for the beauty, the peace, the love and the support in each moment. You may be acutely aware of the grief of losing someone you loved. Do you miss their companionship and their love? If so start looking for moments of companionship and love in the present time. Notice and cherish these moments. You do not need to establish a new relationship with someone else, just notice in what other ways you give and receive companionship and love. Start with yourself, your home, friends, family, environment. Nature and pets can play a significant role in our healing and present time awareness and mindfulness.
MINDFULNESS EXERCISE: Developing Awareness
Find a quiet place and a quiet moment.
- Listen to and feel your heart beat;
- Listen to and feel your breath as it comes into and goes out of your body;
- Stay very still in the moment, cherish this moment;
- Scan your body as though from the inside, follow your blood as it pumps through your body;
- Observe, just observe. Do not analyse or judge what is happening, do not talk yourself through it. Just stay still in the moment and observe.
What happened to your awareness? Did your mind drift off somewhere? Did you start to fidget or look at the clock? Did you resist the stillness? Or did something distract you? It does not matter, just be aware of what happened and visit your still calm moment again from time to time.
Try this mindfulness exercise of awareness whenever you can. Schedule it into your day if you have to (perhaps first thing in the morning and again last thing before bed). Grow your practice of awareness and eventually you will find that you will automatically start feeling more grounded, more calm, more aware and more mindful.
Obstacles to Awareness and Being Mindful:
It is generally emotional obstacles that make us feel stuck. If we feel stuck then we are stuck, no matter how easy the situation may seem to others. Emotional obstacles or obstacles to awareness have been identified as: anger, pride, desire, jealousy and ignorance.
Grief provides us with the environment to get stuck on seemingly overwhelming and endless emotional obstacles.
We will never eliminate all these negative obstacles. In fact, to be human is to experience these emotional states from time to time. What we can do is to consciously be aware of our emotions and the situations they appear to stem from. What meaning do we give these emotions and how do we react to them. With mindfulness exercises we can begin to release our resistance, minimise our emotional obstacles and calm our lives.
Ready to move forward? Check the ‘work with me section’ where I will teach you how to live mindfully with your Grief.