Updated: Aug 12, 2020
I just want to feel strong!
A couple of months ago my husband and I went on a date to get couples massages. COVID had officially set in and I had already gained the "COVID cushion" which was particularly discouraging for me because leading up to COVID I had some good momentum with mindful eating and losing weight. I was feeling pretty low heading into date night and feeling like I was not "winning" with regards to my physical and emotional health. What followed was a transformative experience far from anything I had experienced before while getting a massage. That room became a sacred space and I gave honor to my body like I had never done before.
As the masseuse began to work his fingers in the deep tissues of my back, I realized just how much tension I was carrying and how hard my body was working to shoulder the load both physically and emotionally. Muscles were sore and tender to his touch that I didn't even know were under strain. With each pressure point, the burden my body silently bore became illuminated and a deep, feeling of awe and appreciation washed over me. I began to fill the mental space around my body with gratitude and Love. How precious you are to carry me through this life. Endure the pain of bearing 4 wonderful children and without complaint show up when I don't rest enough, when I don't drink enough water and when I constantly demand the highest performance with no tenderness and care. Requiring you to be present even when my mindset takes over and pushes you to the brink. In that moment, as my gratitude for my body multiplied and flourished, I felt an abundance of strength, build and grow. That is the strongest I've felt in a very long time and It was because I created the space for strength with gratitude. Instead of coming with judgment of all the aches and pain I chose gratitude and appreciation for the work of my body and realized I am already strong and I already have strength.
Today, I did a body scan for 30 minutes, being aware of sensations throughout my body was a challenging first mindfulness exercise of the day. I gently coaxed my mind back to my body countless times. Days are different and some days my mind is particularly distracted. Being compassionate with myself and gentle with myself was inspiring and made me feel strong and empowered to keep going no matter how often my mind wanders. I accepted it for what it was, no judgement. The effort I put into a mindfulness practice that is fraught with distractions is strength.
Mindful movement was the next portion of my day and I did 1 hour of wobbly sun salutations. I took breaks, daydreamed and sipped lemon water at regular intervals. I moved slowly and with intention. Fully feeling each pose and concentrating on my base, my feet, my thighs to support all the poses. I didn't hesitate to press pause when the instructor was 4 steps ahead of me. I held on to a chair if I needed the support and did not feel guilty for any of the other modifications needed to fully engage in the class. I felt strong because I had gratitude for what poses I was able to hold and felt gratitude for my shaking legs and the tight hips that are working hard to keep me stable in this life.
I then rounded out my structured Mindfulness time with a 30 min affirmation/mantra meditation. By the time I got to this portion of my practice, the distractions had settled down a bit but I still felt like my mind was busier then normal. I decided to use the Mantra "There's nothing else, This is it" This message was the embodiment of exactly what I needed to come to terms with to start this mini retreat. Right here, in this moment, is it. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to plan, no one else to be nor anywhere else to be. This is it. This is you. and right now the strength of who I am is showing up strong.
Throughout the day. Strength showed up in most tasks as gratitude for what I got right and compassion and gratitude for the lessons learned when I missed the mark. I accepted it all.
Day 1: I want to feel strong.
9-9:30 Body scan meditation
9:30-10:30 Sun Salutations
10:30-11 Mantra meditation
I feel most strong when I am open to finding opportunities for gratitude in my daily life.