Every now and then I randomly wake-up at a ridiculously early hour. On these days, I tend to creep out of bed, treat myself to a coffee, and head down to the water for a different kind of meditation.
When I speak with people about meditation or Mindfulness, I often run into so many conflicting ideas. People tell me the point of meditation is to be relaxed. Or they tell me they can’t meditate because “I can’t get my thoughts to stop.”
Meditation can do both of these things, but I don’t think that’s what mindfulness actually IS. Instead, Mindfulness is about simply being wherever you’re at, in the present, without judgment. Sometimes that may mean noticing you actually aren’t at peace. Or taking time to observe those racing thoughts. But the beauty of Mindfulness is that, with practice, our relationship with our thoughts changes. We attach to them less and, as such, our negative thoughts start to lose their power and we create more space for positive thoughts to creep in.
They can be simple thoughts. Today on my walk over to my little morning spot I noticed how LOUD my footsteps were as I treked down the little suburban street where I saw nor heard any other sign of life. As I sit now, a school of minnows swims around in the sea grass and birds tuck and dive into the water for their morning meals. No big thoughts happening here. Just “oh, fish!” Or “birds.” Simple. Simple thoughts. And yet quiet, and lovely, without judgment.
Meditation can mean coming to your chair, or cushion, or yoga mat and sitting quietly – but it can also be just taking a quiet hour to yourself (to sit with nature, to run, to paint) and making the commitment to be truly present with whatever your task is at hand.