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Mindfulness 2021 style

Hi all

It's been a while since you had one of my rambles. New Year resolution, learn to be more concise.

So hello 2021, you are offering us up some fun and games are you not! I am attempting some kinder personal practices as a sort of new year resolution which I thought I'd put a pin in and share with you - not sure it's my wisest move but there you go! I'd welcome your reflections.

Buddhism offers up what they call the 'five precepts', I've heard meditation teachers speak of these but had them explained for me the other day for those of you interested a quick overview is:

  • Refrain from destroying living beings

  • Refrain from stealing or taking that which is not freely given

  • Refrain from sexual misconduct

  • Refrain from false speech

  • Refrain from taking intoxicants which cause carelessness and cloud the mind.

I'll leave you to find your own thoughts and feelings on them, but I have made some commitments to myself (and fallen royally off the bandwagon already as some of you will have borne witness to unwittingly!) and they are:

  • Don't gossip

  • Don't make assumptions

  • No judgement – but rather comprehension

  • Pause, breathe, respond - in endeavors to be more skillful

  • Don't moan!

I cannot tell you how hard this is.

Why am I doing this? In an attempt to find more internal peace, to notice my critical mind, to reach out with more compassion to everyone I come in contact with. My personal belief is that we need kindness and compassion more than ever right now, and it's hard to give these when we are knee-deep in the grumps or negativity.

Reflective practices have been helpful. I can spot my multiple fall from grace, the challenge then is not to cringe or get all internally shouty with myself but rather go 'fine, there you go Moggers, try better next time'.

It's WIP for sure, and I welcome you to invite me to pause and breathe so that I can be more skillful in my practice if you catch wind of me breaking any of my commitments! Which I'll no doubt do.

Hope you all are finding ways and means to navigate 2021 and its unrelenting challenges. If you have any you'd like to share please do! We'd all benefit from each other's wisdom.

A poem to reflect on if you fancy taking a pause, and a breath in your day as you read this:

“Kindness eases change.
Love quiets fear.
And a sweet and powerful
Positive obsession
Blunts pain,
Diverts rage,
And engages each of us
In the greatest,
The most intense
Of our chosen struggles.”

By Octavia Butler

Take care of yourselves hey, we will come through these times, for everything is impermanent, so notice the 'now', this moment and perhaps take some time for some personal kindness. Worry about tomorrow when it's here.

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