Writing about sovereignty this week brings me back to practice. That sovereign part of myself is not the same thing as my wants and desires, my feelings, or my beliefs and conditioning. It's something both deeper and more diffuse, my Being. To connect with it, I practice.
An Awareness Practice:
Beginning to sit, I let my body settle into stillness. I make the little adjustments that I need to get comfortable, alert, upright, and relaxed. I settle into my body, being aware of sensations. I listen, hearing the birds outside, the neighbors' air conditioner, cars driving. I feel the warm air. Pulling my awareness inward a bit, I feel the breath all through my chest and belly. Moment by moment, I notice how that feels, just resting in it.
My mind wanders, thinking about the breath, thinking about this practice, thinking about what I need to do today. Sometimes emotions show up--worry or frustration or happiness. My body gets restless or hungry. I welcome these thoughts and feelings, sort of imagining welcoming them to sit down next to me. And come back to the feeling of breathing, this moment, and the beautiful experience of being alive now. As many times as my mind wanders or feelings come up, I make some space for them next to me and then gently return to the present.
Doing this, I'm practicing being. The quiet presence that I touch into, the stillness under the thoughts and sensations, that's the true sovereign being that I am turning things over to.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.