“Go to your room…”
“…and, don’t come back until you can behave, apologize, show respect…” Did you ever hear that as a child? Banished for showing your true emotions: anger, jealousy, frustration? Made to feel your emotions or you, yourself are somehow wrong. Was it misguided socialization?
Mindfulness Meditation suggests being with one’s emotions just as they are, non-judgmentally could be a positive experience. Not learning to control or hide the emotion, but rather letting go of it so it does not automatically dictate a habitual reaction. Giving oneself time to select the appropriate response.
When we learn how to meditate we begin by being truly present to what is going on in the moment, be it thoughts or emotions or physical pain. We accept whatever is present without labeling it as good or bad. We are shown how to sit, how long, how often. But, the “where” is often left to us.
In our homes we have rooms designated for sleeping, eating, bathing, watching T.V. What if we created a corner of a room or even an entire room itself just for “being”. A non-punishment “time-out” space, where any family member could go on their own to regain peace of mind. A safe place with a door. To be with whatever has come up for them. Put up a sign on the door, “Time Out” or better yet, “Time In”.
In my own family home we have three safe spots. Each one has some symbol of beauty or peace to remind us of its special nature. One of them is in the corner of the spare bedroom for morning sitting. A round zafu (cushion) on a large square pillow faces a carved stone Chinese monk with an enigmatic smile. (My husband gave me the statue to remind me that I am never sitting alone; millions of people around the world are practicing at the very same moment.) A small soft light illuminates the dark winter mornings and a large window does the same with summer sunrises.
Body scans are done in front of the living room fireplace (mindful of the environment, it is all electric now) and my office has a photo – a soothing white stone statue of a woman seated, cross-legged while she floats on a tranquil pond in front of a Paris hotel.
Create your own special space. Then, your sitting will become something you cherish and look forward to doing.
Kersti Sunne Biro MindSpace Mindfulness Coach