Knocked Down Hard: How Mindfulness Got Me Through
Editor’s note: This article was contributed by Nicole Newcomb, MHC-P
Recently I lived through a major life upheaval that was not my doing. It felt like the ground under my feet shattered.
We all struggle with life transitions, some are viewed as a blessing and others as a punishment. It could be the most important aspect of whether it’s a blessing or punishment is how you endure the new transition. Do you cope? Avoid it? Or run full speed ahead?
During my recent perceived punishment from the Universe, my first instinct was to run. I fought this urge and instead decided to cope. Already being a mindful practitioner, I decided to lean hard on my mindfulness practices to get me through.
In less emotionally charged situations I could deep breathe or go for a run to cope, but this transition was different. I felt as though for all the good that I tried to do and all the hard work that I had put in, it was for those qualities that I was forced into this new situation. This transition was going to take all the coping skills I had and I knew it was going to be a long journey back to my normal, positive, content state of being.
I allowed myself to grieve for the first day that I received the news, (basically I cried all day) but I knew I could not let myself wallow for too long. The next day I got up early and started planning out how I was going to take care of myself. I fought long and hard that day to try and save what I had and not be forced into my new position. After my war ended and I knew for sure that I had lost, it was time to accept, cope and move on.
Thereafter I started every morning with a mindful run with my dogs, followed by a mindful walk and a 10-15 minute meditation. Then I ate my breakfast mindfully and practiced positive self-talk while I got ready for work. I practiced this ritual daily for two weeks straight. Then one morning after my run I was mindfully walking (Believe me, this took a lot of concentration because my mind so badly wanted to drift back to negative sad, self-defeating thoughts) and my practice paid off!
If it was not for my mindful walk I would never have seen the photo you see above. I love Mother Nature and she showed me that day that she loved me too. I did not see the heart at first glance, I just thought the trees looked beautiful against the bright blue sky. When I looked down at this picture in my hand I smiled and finally felt a sense of contentment.
It was the first time since my news that I felt like I was going to be okay. I told myself I would be, but it wasn’t until that moment that I knew I would. I was so grateful for the love I received that I had to share it with all those that I loved and now I am sharing it with you so that you know you will be okay, too!
Are you interested in how you can learn about the benefits of Mindfulness practice, what that is and how to incorporate mindfulness skills into your daily life (it’s not as hard as you think) I offer a group at Explore What’s Next on Mindfulness. Click here to see the Mindful Group poster for more information!