Those who have been following my blogs know I write a lot about how easy it is for us to get kicked into auto-pilot. It’s is as someone is in our mind working the gears and we’re just going through the motions. I often quote Abraham Joshua Heschel saying, “Life is routine and routine is resistance to wonder.” I want to give you something very practical to do during the day that is coined in the upcoming A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger, 2010), with a foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, that I am co-authoring with Bob Stahl, Ph.D.
The term is called Mindful Check-In and here is an excerpt from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook with the instructions to practice for a few minutes at a time:
Now we’ll introduce to you a brief, three-minute practice to give you another taste of mindfulness: the mindful check-in. This short, powerful practice allows you to recognize how you’re feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally and will help you recenter yourself in the present moment. We recommend that you incorporate this practice into your daily life, using it as often as you like during the day and combining it with the breathing practice you’ll learn in chapter 3.
Do this practice in a relaxing environment without distractions, such as the phone. You can do it either lying down or sitting up, but if you lie down and find yourself falling asleep, try a more upright posture. We suggest practicing with your eyes closed, since the main point of focus is your inner experience of your mind and body; however, you may keep them partially open if you prefer. (Note: The actual workbook has over 8.5 hours of audio guided meditation practice, but for the purposes of this blog, here is the transcription of the practice to work with).
Take a few moments to be still. Congratulate yourself for taking this time for meditation practice.
Begin this mindful check-in by feeling into your body and mind and simply allowing any waves of thought, emotion, or physical sensation to just be.
Perhaps this is the first break you’ve taken amidst a busy day. As you begin to enter the world of being rather than doing, you may notice the trajectory of the feelings that you’ve been carrying within yourself.
There is no need to judge, analyze, or figure things out. Just allow yourself to be in the here and now, amidst everything that is present in this moment. Spend about three minutes simply checking in with yourself in this way.
As you come to the end of this mindful check-in, again congratulate yourself for doing this practice and directly contributing to your health and well-being.
Try and practice this a few times a day as an experiment to break out of your daily routine, just checking in with your mind and body. What do you notice? After practicing this for 1 week, what has come up for you?
As always, please don’t take my word for it, try this out for yourself do gain insight from your own experience.
Please share your thoughts, questions, and stories below. Your interaction here provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.