This week my inspiration has come from an article I read earlier in the week about how to beat the boredom in meditation. The first suggestion reminded me to connect with my sense of purpose. What was my intention for spending this time meditating? For self-help to stick it needs to become a habit and a routine, but the down side of that is that we can find ourselves doing things automatically and forgetting why we are doing them. I found that when I reconnected with my intention for my meditation I got a whole more out of it, I’ve rarely been bored with it this week and in the brief moments that I have I’ve just reminded myself of what I’m hoping to get out of it. This practice hasn’t just kept the boredom at bay but I’ve had some of the most profoundly peaceful meditation session that I’ve ever had this week!
Setting intentions for meditation was part of the mindfulness practice taught by Andy Puddicombe on the online meditation website headspace . I can tend to be quite self-centered in my intentions: ‘I meditate to achieve a healing peace’ but Andy always reminded us to extend the intention to others too. By being calmer, less stressed, we’re nicer to be around: finding peace doesn’t just benefit you, being around someone calm and mindful is a benefit for others too! I also see that the more healing peace I find the more I will have to give to others and serve my chosen purpose of helping others live a more relaxed, balanced and fulfilling life despite chronic illness.
So this week I’ve been aiming to remind myself of my intentions for all of my self-help. It’s definitely helping with my T’ai chi, which after so many years of practice I often find myself doing on autopilot which kind of defeats the object! My intention for T’ai chi is unity of body, mind and spirit, a connection with the universal oneness, and healing through balancing my flow of chi. Being connected with these intentions completely enriches the experience!
Keeping in my awareness the healing intention of being in sunlight (the benefits of vitamin D) means I get more out of the experience in the moment, by appreciating what it’s doing for me. In the past I found sun bathing really boring even just for the 10 minutes of safe exposure that I aim for to boost my vitamin D levels. Now though, along with my awareness of what good it’s doing me I aim to mindfully appreciate the sensations of warmth on my skin and of letting go as my muscles relax, the sight of the blue sky, the sounds of the birds singing and the distant bells of the goats and sheep.
This week I intend to expand my intention setting to the experience of eating, bringing awareness into the experience of my intention to nourish my body; to provide the fuel and raw materials needed for vibrant, healthy functioning.
I’d to love to hear from you if intention setting makes a difference to your self-help. Why not experiment and let me know?
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