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Finding your anchor during transitions

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Many months have passed since the last blog I wrote.  Due to major life transitions including death of a loved one and divorce I found that sitting at the computer trying to put words together proved a daunting task.  I also realize that I neglected my formal meditation practice along with other important habits and coping skills. I still use my informal skills, practicing moments of mindfulness, taking deep breaths and the practice of being in the present.  But as my formal time of practice lessened the daily stress picked up and it became more of a struggle to access those tools.  Yes, I am stumbling through this life as well at times, and I am adrift. So what happened when I would try and practice yoga or sit in meditation?  Depending on the day my reactions would change.  At this point in my life my times to practice are the afternoon when my youngest goes down for a nap and weekends when I can go to a class or have longer sessions when my children are with their father.  During the afternoon I would distract myself or fall asleep.  During the weekends I escape through external distractions and reach out to others instead of looking to my inner self for strength and guidance.  The further away from my mat, the more excuses I found to avoid going back.  And the longer time passed the more I struggle and continue feeling adrift.

So how does one return to the anchor of the breath?

Keep it simple

My once daily practice of yoga and meditation had dwindled to a bi-weekly activity.  To bring myself back to my practice I went back to familiar routines and used 20-minute videos online.  I also found online meditation guides to assist with my sitting practice.

Set intentions

As the weeks moved forward and I adjusted to new ways of daily life I realized I had lost some of the purpose of why I practice formal forms of meditation.  When I was able to sit down and write out how my practice feeds my life values and goals returning to my practice was easier.

Forgive self

Many times I caught myself being frustrated and feeling bad about not doing what I “should” be doing.  It almost became a cycle of avoiding my mat because I would feel bad about all the days I had skipped, so to not feel bad I would skip another session.  Letting go of the past, finding self-compassion and forgiveness of self is such an intricate part of a mindful practice and joyful living.  So I dropped my practice for awhile?  It’s time to start this new time with a sense of beginner’s mind and move towards the next adventure.