We don’t have to be a master of anything in our lives to experience the benefits of mindfulness. I remember in 1996 when I lived at Plum Village, a spiritual community not far from Bordeaux in the South West of France, how we were encouraged in applying mindfulness to everything we did, all day and every day.
I admit to not succeeding that successfully on many occasions. For me it was easier in the meditation hall, (not so many distractions), yet one does not have to meditate to be mindful. It was about developing the habit of being aware of what is actually happening in each moment, within me, through me, and around me and having the ability to NOT judge it as good or bad. Just to witness and move on.
Of course there was plenty of self criticism that came up when my mind wandered off, allowing the voice in my head to dictate to me. So here’s a tip for oil lovers. Apply a drop of Bergamot and a drop of Black Pepper to the tip of your nose and the back of your neck. Black Pepper helps break up unloving thought patterns, while Bergamot helps to re-establish a sense of self worth.
What I learned at Plum Village was to pause, to focus, to stop! I have never forgotten that when the phone rang or the gong sounded, we all stopped what we were doing, no matter where we were and said silently to ourselves” Listen, listen to that beautiful sound, that brings me back to my true self”, then we would continue to peel potatoes, answer the phone, pull the weeds. To aid focus diffuse Sandalwood and Myrrh which will help the mind focus and become free of negative free falling! Then stop and sit and breathe.
This helped with my development of mindfulness and after three months, I left with ‘more mindfulness’, than what I arrived with!
Did I tell you that I initially attended the retreat at Plum Village which was two weeks in silence? One of my greatest memories is massaging other retreatants, in silence. What powerful energy there was in those sessions. When the two weeks was up, I chose to stay on. There was never unnecessary, superficial chatter in the Hamlet. Each day was lived in a silent, intentional and focussed way. Walking meditation, one of my favourite activities. To this day silence is my best friend!
It was not easy venturing out into the world again. It moved too fast, was very noisy and subsequently stressful trying to ‘fit’ in again. So here is another tip in acquiring a sense being in the world, but not of it. Citrus oils are remarkable in clearing brain receptor sites and reducing stress. Just a whiff of Wild Orange or Citrus Bliss or Bergamot will reduce anxiety and stress levels. A few drops on the palm of your hands, rub together and inhale deeply! Then wipe over the back of your neck or chest.
NOTE: All oils referred to in this blog are dōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils.
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