Being Mindful

On my afternoon stroll around the grounds, I came across this ideal peaceful scene. I hope it also brings you serenity!
On my afternoon stroll around the grounds, I came across this ideal peaceful scene. I hope it also brings you serenity!

Mindfulness is all the rage right now. Be mindful. Just be. Just.  J. Nothing. Is that what we are aiming for? To think nothing? I have to laugh, because I have written this blog article in my head about 8 times, and every time I came up with some acerbic witty comment, sniggering to myself. I went to a full day retreat recently, a silent one, to practise mindfulness and find some peace and serenity. I found that and a whole lot more.

I have a raging over active over analytical over the top over over kind of mind. That is why writing is good, get those words out! Boom! I have tried meditating, my own version of it, many times before, and generally I obtain a good sense of peace and relaxation. This time I wanted to have a day out from my normal routines and see if I could find this relatively hard to find state of peace.

I found a place about an hour south of Perth to go to for the day, and just by chance it happened to be 38 hot awful degrees. Just think of sticking your head inside a fan forced hot oven, it’s kind of like that. But all over, and then add buzzing sticky annoying flies. Welcome to summer in Perth! Usually Summer is awesome, if you are swimming in a beach… not inland with no breeze, and hot hot hot conditions. Anyhow, so that was the weather, and there was a really nice air-conditioned room where we did all our hippy meditating stuff. And it was cold in there, like I needed to wear a jumper kind of cold, and have a little blankie, the all essential cuddly soft blankie for proper meditating stuff.

I will be frank and be honest, because that is rare right? Haha. I wasn’t that keen on the way it was led. I think these kind of days you have to take bits and pieces from it that suit, so this is what I did.  So I won’t rip it to shreds and name the place where it was… There was good and bad, mostly good. Which I will cover too! The morning meditation was mostly good. Half the people sat or laid on the floor others sat in chairs. I fell into a peaceful meditative state for the majority of the first two hours, and this was the best part of the day. I find I can communicate to my loved dead ones in this zone, and they all came forward and had a little chat so that was nice. I asked to speak to my spirit guides. One by one they all took it turns to talk to me, turns out I have quite the posse of support up there. So why can’t they get their act together and magically make my life awesome?? That is my request please!

First stepped forward a zulu warrior type man. A very tall black African man, very regal and powerful offering me strength and support. Apparently I was his wife in a past life and he has promised to support me in this life. Cool! Next stepped forward my maternal Grandma, Patty. I have always been able to talk to her in the past quite easily, she was my first dead relative and I learnt I could communicate with her quite easily, she seems to have it all worked out. She always saids to me ‘oh darling’, then I know it is her. She has a unique way with words. Then my paternal Grandma stepped forward, Lisa. She died at a young age of 50, way before I was even born, so I never met her. But she has found a way to offer me support and guidance. She keeps telling me I will meet my life partner soon, so that’s exciting. Next was my Mum, and then my Dad. So all in all I felt very connected and calm and grounded, and quiet and focussed enough to communicate with all my love ones. So that for me was the best part of all.

Next was lunch. The food was really good. I ate way more than I normally do at lunch time. It was all vegetarian and tasty and colourful and prepared with lots of love and kindness, so I really enjoyed that. After lunch I had a little wander around the grounds, but because it was a sweltering 38 plus degree day, I really didn’t want to be in the sun for too long. There was no one to chat to as everyone was in silence. Beauty (the sarcastic version; as in that was no fun at all). It felt kind of weird to be amongst so many people and not talk. It was actually quite relaxing; company but without the pressure to communicate, a strange and unusual experience.

In the afternoon we had another mediation session, I pretty much slept through most of that, too much food, that was the problem! And then we had a yoga class. Well that’s what they called it, if you ask me it was the worst yoga class ever!! But no one can say anything as everyone is silent, but inside I was thinking, ‘what the hell is even going on here?’ So now I get to tell someone! We hardly did any stretching at all, not even one down ward dog! I felt like nothing had been stretched after an hour, like nothing. She said things like ‘just get into this position, find a way, it looks like this’ wow, such good instruction. At one point we were all facing the back of the room! For ages! I think she was a beginner teacher, or perhaps a pilates teacher or something. She said ‘bum’ about 7 times, yoga teaches never say bum. It was quite funny. I was laughing on the inside anyway, I tried to get anyones attention around me, but others seem to think it was all fairly plausible. Oh well, that’s what you call an interesting experience!

By dinner time, for which I was 0 out of 5 hungry for, I was pretty much over the quiet and feeling mindful. It didn’t stop me from piling up my plate with more yummy goodness though! Now those chefs were really good! After eating my body weight in snow peas, I really just wanted to have a good chat, do something other than sit around and stare into space and contemplate my existence. It was peaceful I will admit. By early evening once the sun had set, the birds started to fly around more and it was lovely up there. But it was time for me to go and do something more productive! I could not sit through another mediation, I could not lie down on my matt and be still, I needed to get going.

It occurred to me that taking action is what is the most powerful change you can make in your life. I was reading an article from my Wellness magazine, quite appropriate choice of reading material I thought! I realised as I sat still, quietly, that it is good to be mindful, calm and quiet, and then if you really want  change in your life, go and DO IT!  Make it happen, take action, do something productive in the right direction of the changes you want to make in your life. I realised that my parents would never have spent one day of their lives ‘being mindful’, lying around on yoga mats all day doing nothing. Wow, how things have changed in our generation. Taking action is the most powerful change we can make.

As I burned out of the carpark heading back to Perth, I was so stoked to encounter a stormy night. Massive bolts of lightning struck from the sky, in random streaks across the sky, it was exhilarating! As the sun set I admired the golden sky to my left, and the rain clouds and lightning to my right. If I had stayed and lay on my mat staring into space, I would not have experienced the amazing summer night spectacle! I drove straight to the beach, keen to get some photos. I made it out of the car for about 38 seconds and the sky opened up, drenching me and my surrounds in big wet heat quenching droplets. After my quiet and minimally sensory day, I loved being outdoors, feeling the rain, feeling nature open up and really be able to admire something as simple as a stormy summer night.

An amazing shot of the storm here in Perth, photo taken by Nicole Fenwick.
An amazing shot of the storm here in Perth, photo taken by Nicole Fenwick.

There is so much to be grateful for in life. We all have so much richness, and I am not talking money. It was good to take some time out from my busy mind, enjoy some peace and serenity, and some awesome vegetarian food. I highly recommend taking time out from your busy schedules in life. If anything all that lying around and nothingness, can really motivate you to take action and appreciate the simple things. I realised my family are close by, in the spirit world, and how not to do yoga. Something for everyone!

Anita xx

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