Welcome to Core Practice! When most of us think of “core” in relation to health, we think of the center of our body – our abdominal and back muscles. While a strong physical core is valuable, we benefit emotionally and mentally, from a strong center of being.
Whether we choose to initiate a mindful lifestyle practice from the perspective of the body or the mind, you will find the one will always affect the other. Stabilize the physical body and the mind will follow. Stabilize the mind and your body will follow. It is a choice we need to make daily. You are the determining factor of where you will begin each day.
When going through the core principles, I encourage you to read all of them in your own time and reflect. Take what you need. If one principle or phase does not speak to you, try a different one. The important part is to make a conscious effort to try something new. Play with your comfort zone in a gentle way. Maybe you will think a concept is trivial. It may just have the greatest impact.
Photo by Kasuma from Pexels
Each principle is divided into phases. The introductory phases are extremely gentle and meant especially for those experiencing active or recent illness or injury. Even if this is not your first approach to a mindful lifestyle, I encourage you to review this phase to strengthen the foundation of your practice and fine tune your awareness.
Every day your body feels and responds differently. Listen to the subtle messages. What emotions are your feeling? Are you judging your body or thoughts? How does your body feel when you wake up? If you have pain, where is it specifically? Are there any movements that release physical or emotional pain? Maybe a slow stroll helps clear your negative thoughts enough to get back on a positive path.
Learn about yourself on different levels. You may discover new strengths. Let yourself really feel emotions or physical responses as they arise. Play with non-reaction. If a negative thought appears, let it arrive, acknowledge it, and then let it fall away.
Remember thoughts are not physical entities. You can control how you respond to them physically and emotionally. Instead, observe where your body is at that moment and accept it. Try to discover what it needs.
Be open and non-judgmental towards yourself. Have compassion for who you are today. Mindfulness is an approach to life. It is not just meditation. It is a subtle awareness of our own nature, that when grown, integrates aspects of our life we did not know were connected.
Accept where you are today and grow as much as possible. Some days you may whither a bit. Continue to be kind and to nurture yourself. You never know what new seedlings will pop up.
“Bloom where you are planted.” — Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales