My Mindfulness Anchor

Mindfulness gets a lot of hype, and I know why.

I’ve never sat on a mountaintop meditating and as of now, life is just way too busy to even contemplate enlightenment. But mindfulness has been a saving grace for me, it’s helped me keep my seat during turbulent moments, like the one I describe below.

A big focus in my work and writing is mindfulness, here’s a peek into why it’s here to stay in my life.

Just the other day, my son’s rare syndrome made the New York Times.  I felt a mix of excitement and dread when I came across the article on my Facebook feed. Excitement, because since his diagnosis we have made advocacy and awareness of Prader-Willi Syndrome a cornerstone of our household.

With more awareness comes a deeper understanding, compassion, and tolerance from the general population. And, hey, The New York Times is nothing to sneeze at, right?

And dread? Dread because the headline read “Food Is a Death Sentence to These Kids”. Need I say more?

I opened the article with trepidation and a box of tissues at the ready. And boy did I need them. The article paints a very different picture of our present situation, but there are different phases of the syndrome.

Will the other shoe drop for our son? If so, when? I ended up sharing the article myself on Facebook because at the end of the day, the awareness it would bring trumped whatever emotional reaction I was having.

But I was spiraling into a funk and fast.

The rest of the evening was a blurry robotic haze, imagining what life would be like “if” and “when”. I went to bed tired and emotionally drained, too upset to sit and meditate. But, like any other anchoring habit, it called to me.

If my meditation practice had a voice, this is what it was saying: “You need me tonight more than ever. Let me show you what the truth is right now in this moment.”

So I wiped away my tears, sat up in bed, closed my eyes and found my centering breath. It was a challenge to clear my mind of the scenarios that had been swirling in my mind all day, but by following my breath I was able to observe them like a spectator. Little by little the fears melted away. I was able to free my mind for a couple of moments (and usually that’s all it takes) of the dreaded future, then longer, then longer still. All in all, ten minutes passed by, and my mental state had totally shifted. Calm, clear and present.

I was left with a heart bursting with compassion for the young lady who was featured in the article and for her family, the blessed reassurance that I always have a place to go when life throws me curve balls, and the mantra, “This moment is perfect” in my head. 

 I couldn’t help but tip-toe into my kids’ room and give them each a gentle kiss while they slept.

Yes, indeed, “This moment is perfect”.

Do you meditate or practice mindfulness? If not, is it something you’d like to learn?

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to know.

About the Author Rachel Hansen

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