Hello and welcome! Hopefully you have found moments this week to be enthusiastic and joyful this week, even if they were just brief moments. Start small 😉
Recently I was lucky enough to go to a work picnic sponsored by my husband’s company to a place with go-karts and rock climbing, and all kinds of kid-like entertainment and it got me thinking about child’s mind or beginner’s mind. Beginner’s mind is a skill we sometimes use in mindfulness.
The idea is that we strive (in my mind, “strive” means it’s our goal and not that we beat ourselves up if we don’t master it but rather that we consider it as a goal that we work towards with no concern as to when or if we master it) to look at everything as though it was the first time seeing it. I’d love for you to practice with me.
Have you ever seen video of a child who has received a cochlear implant and is hearing for the first time? Here’s a video if you haven’t seen it:
This baby is so excited to be hearing for the first time. He cannot help but smile in wonder at the miracle of hearing. Why should we react any differently each time we hear? Sure, our brains are excited by novel things but that’s just biology. But we are more than biology. We are souls. Why can’t we be grateful each time we hear?
Do you remember the last exquisite meal you had? Maybe it was steak. If you come to my house often, it was probably sweet potato casserole because that stuff is AWESOME! You can view the recipe here. Can you eat every meal with that much attention to detail? Resee’s Cups are delicious but I’ll tell you a secret. They’re even MORE delicious when you’re grateful and paying attention.
Can you imagine being here? The vibrant colors? The gentle sound of the breeze? How about the smell or grass and flowers? Take a look and take a moment to really enjoy it. Think about words it brings to mind, memories, feelings. Notice them all. And notice how you feel or what you tell yourself about having these experiences (thoughts and feelings).
- “I am pleased when I am in nature”.
- “I’m upset that I don’t see more of this in my own backyard.”
- “What a shame I have to drive hours to see fields like this.”
These are internal rules about how you interpret experiences. Be grateful that you can think rather than upset that you find yourself thinking how much you miss being a child and laying in fields to stare at clouds.
Everything is more vibrant and more amazing when we pay close attention. Strive to see things as you did the first time you saw them. When your pet comes to you and licks your hand or brushes against you, do not take it for granted. Count it as the blessing it is. On your drives, notice the flowers and clouds and thank the workers who have created the roads. Be alive! Be awake! Take care, folks.
If you want to explore more about mindfulness, click here.
Perspectives Therapy Services is a multi-site mental and relationship health practice with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Highland and Fenton, Michigan. Our clinical teams include experienced, compassionate and creative therapists with backgrounds in psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, and social work. Additionally, we offer psychiatric care in the form of evaluations and medication management. Our practice prides itself on providing extraordinary care. We offer a customized matching process to prospective clients whereby an intake specialist carefully assesses which of our providers would be the very best fit for the incoming client. We treat a wide range of concerns that impact a person's mental health including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, low self-worth, life transitions, and childhood and adolescent difficulties.