The last time all of my siblings were home in June, we had a book club. One of my brothers had read THE FIVE REGRETS OF THE DYING by Bronnie Ware and he decided to gift each of us a copy to also read and discuss when we were together next.
The book was really good and contained lots of lessons on how to LIVE life well (I recommend it!). It was interesting to also have a conversation with my family about it afterwards, to hear what struck them as thought-provoking, what resonated, and to talk about how we each wished our death to be. Not casual dinner conversation that we regularly have, that’s for sure!
One thing that has stuck with me from our conversation was a question one of my brothers posed to each of us about our mind and meditation process. The author shares different life examples of times in her life when her thoughts were a little unhealthy and how she found a daily practice of meditation or creating art or finding routines that helped manage her mind, rather than getting carried away with worry or anxiety or fear or scarcity or a plethora of other monkey-mind thoughts that can take you in a downward spiral.
So I’ve been contemplating this question over the past month… what do *I* do to master my mind??
Of course, as you probably already gathered from following me thus far, BREATHWORK is a huge tool for meditation for me. I also find WRITING and JOURNALING helps me process my thoughts and tap into my inner truth rather than my inner critic. BUT! I don’t do either of these things on a daily basis. And yet, I feel more grounded, balanced, and in tune with my intuition than I ever have in my life so far. What else is it that might be helping me to sort through all the mind’s voices?
And the answer hit me:
Pretty much every day, I’m out in NATURE. Because I have a dog who needs a certain amount of exercise each day, I’m at the dog park every day, every week (except for on the weekends when it’s my man’s turn!). Rain, snow, or shine… we are outside. And because Minnesota has AAAAAAMAZING dog parks, I’m in beautiful locations with lots of trees and paths and bodies of water and earth to tap into.
THIS is my daily meditation practice that brings me back home to my center.
Of course, just like meditation, not every day is easy and blissful. Sometimes the bugs are bad or it’s super hot and humid or the wind is raw or I still get caught up scrolling through my phone or Moon rolls in something dead (yuck). But when I return home, I’m still more connected to myself than I was before we went and I’m grateful for it.
On Wednesday this week, we had a new moon - the time of the cycle where it’s helpful to go inward and re-evaluate or tune into what new things you are ready for. Take a moment today to inquire about your own routines and rituals that you do daily that help you to ground and center. Are they working for you? Do you need to tweak them? Re-devote yourself to them? Give gratitude for them? Try something new for this moon cycle?
Here’s your new moon reminder to set little structures for yourself - little touchstones - in your day that guide you towards working WITH your mind and thoughts. These routines don’t need to be complicated or long-winded. It could be 5 minutes everyday for prayer, meditation, singing, writing, sipping tea while staring out the window, feeling your feet on the ground, walking outside, moving your body, breathing, doodling, knitting, etc etc etc what makes you feel centered?
Happy August friend. Here’s to our daily practices that bring us in collaboration with our minds rather than at odds. xo!