Meeting a difficult feeling

I decided to do a little experiment the other night while I was working on setting up the Facebook page for this site. I recorded myself as I went through some very basic mindful steps to meet and bring some kindness to the unpleasant sensation that had been gnawing at the edges of my concentration. I noticed that I was batting away the thought that I had promised myself a relaxing evening but was also feeling driven to get some work done and that a feeling of resistance was building in my body… resulting in an upset tummy!

I hope it might be of some use. Often we read steps for mindful practice but might wonder how they would actually work in the midst of a messy or strong emotion. This is an example of quite a brief process of coming home to my body and getting in touch with self-compassion. There are times that call for a deeper practice, but in everyday life this set of steps, repeated often, will help to rewrite self-defeating habits with more resilient, kind and caring ones that give us a solid foundation for dealing with life’s difficulties. The steps I took:

  • Stopping what I was doing with the intention of bringing some curiosity and kindness to seeing what was happening for me
  • Placing my hands on my body with kindness
  • Following my breath as a bridge to the sensations presenting themselves in my body at that moment
  • Bringing my awareness to the sensations, taking appropriate action to honour what I saw needed my help (eg. I stood up to relieve my tummy)
  • In the silence that following my breath in and out gave me, I could notice the thoughts and as with the sensations/emotions, simply acknowledge and allow them
  • Recognising the turmoil I smiled and felt kindly towards myself, knowing that I had been acting out of habit.

I’m happy to report that I left the work down then and there and got an early night!

This is just one example, I would love to hear your observations or questions on it in the comments below or on the Facebook page. I realise also that there is a whole lot of fascinating stuff to share about what ‘taking a few breaths’ means and that can be the subject of its own post.

About the author louphoria

Lou McGrath Msc. Guiding self-healing through mindfulness and nature connection.

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  1. Such a beautiful thoughtful reflection. You are very brave to reveal your innermost feelings and so kind to try to help others. I am going to start taking a few minutes every day just for me and try to listen to my body in a better way.



    1. That’s a brilliant response to get, thank you Margaret. It is so worth taking that time, the more we do it the easier it gets and we’re so endlessly fascinating and worthy of our own loving attention. We blossom with it too. Looking forward to hearing how you get on. There is a group on the FB page, it might be interesting for people to share observations/experiences/questions. We call it Dharma Sharing in the Plum Village practice. I wonder…



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