I’m not naturally calm, and so I breathe …and give thanks.

People often ask me how I got into mindfulness. I tell them it’s because I need it. I’m a high-energy person. I have lots of thoughts and ideas, and feelings, and engage with each area–thoughts, ideas, feelings–with full passion. I simply don’t know how to turn all this off. Neither do I think I should…

This idea that mindfulness should lead to serene thoughts, muted ideas, and lack of passion does not square with me as a mindfulness practitioner.There is a dull calm that lacks an engagement with life, and a calm to experience in mindfulness that is fully awake to the opportunities of each day.

For instance, after a good yoga session, I often end with a length of time simply breathing. I take stock during this time, of how my body feels. Now, in my 40’s I feel grateful that my body is able to do what it does. The stretch and strength of my muscles, ligaments, and bones reveals my body’s ability. I am still able. I am still alive, and can use my body! It gets me to where I want to go, it enables to still pick up one of my children; I’m grateful to God. After mindfulness practice, I experience renewed vision to do the work that I’m called to do. The space and time to do has readied me to embark on whatever adventure will fill my day.  I feel fully involved, fully present, and ready for whatever comes my way.

In mindfulness practice, I breathe in deeply and my mind does not fixate on any one thing. It flies around at first, searching for a thought that will stick. I think, “wow! I feel good, what an amazing thing to be created by a Creator…” This thought then leads me down a path of gratitude for my creator. I remember that it’s not just me, practicing yoga, practicing breathing, but I’m in God’s presence. He is with me. I’m filled and full of the Holy Spirit that God has promised as a believer to guide and direct my life.

And, life, is full of amazing experiences waiting to be explored. In this season of Thanksgiving, I urge you to pursue a mindfulness practice full of passion for life, for the vision God has cast for you, for the abilities you have to serve, work, and to enjoy…to be fully awake and to breathe in gratitude for today and the days ahead.

Author: regimadi

I'm an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Azusa Pacific University, an avid tea sipper and researcher on mindfulness.

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