Sometimes we assume that in order to meditate or to be mindful, we need to silence the mind. There is a sense of desperation to avoid distraction and only allow peace to enter the mind and body. We are hard on ourselves when we notice our minds have wandered or when our days have become saturated with checklists and obligations.
One of my favorite mantras is
“I can also breathe deeply in this moment”.
Distractions, work, stress, sadness, illness, tragedy and bad days are inevitable. What’s beautiful is that even during these tough moments, we can also breathe deeply. Our breath is always here for us. I can feel stressed and I can also breathe deeply in this moment.
It is not about resisting, avoiding or excluding the tough stuff. But rather, exploring each moment of your life by inviting it all in as a part of the human experience. Allow the sound of traffic or noisy neighbors, while you’re meditating, to become a part of your experience. Allow physical tension to be present in the body. Allow your thoughts to move freely. And then, allow your breath to be bigger, deeper, and more present than each of these things.