|“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.” Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati|
I can’t count the number of times I was asked by friends and loved ones what I needed when my father passed away several years ago. I didn’t know … What did I need? At that time in my life I wasn’t even sure I knew how to find out what I needed, let alone ask for or receive help. I had not yet discovered the power of mindfulness … I didn’t yet know that there is a fundamental wisdom within me, ready and waiting to be heard and heeded.
I have had several other deeply felt losses since then … my beloved maternal grandmother, my favorite uncle … and mindfulness helped me access a deep knowing within me of how to care for myself and others during these times of grief. This knowing has also been with me during happier times, and serves as my ever-present lighthouse — piercing through the fog of busy-ness of the mind and chatter from external pressures, and illuminating the way to equanimity, acceptance and even ease.
Patty and I, and the rest of our Sacred Treehouse faculty, often say that the practice of mindfulness is pretty simple. Easy — not so much. But with commitment and consistency you too can access your own lighthouse of wisdom, so that you can effectively care for yourself during both joyful AND challenging times. The first of the letters of our mnemonic this month, the “C” in CARE refers to “clarity”, which we cultivate through the practice of exercising the mental muscle of intentional attention. As our sixth sense of awareness sharpens we begin to see more clearly what our bodies and hearts need to function effectively in our day-to-day world. We can also more easily access the little joys that speckle the landscapes of our lives.
Want to learn more about how to practice mindfulness and find that clarity of mind and heart? Join me in September (in person!) for our fall offering of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), an evidenced-based course on the fundamentals of cultivating a mindfulness practice. You won’t regret it! In the meantime, try the below brief practice that is adapted from a Dialectical Behavior Therapy skill called “Wise Mind.” And tune into the wisdom, that lighthouse, that is already within YOU.
With Metta — Nikki and the Sacred Treehouse faculty
Nicole Davis is a licensed psychologist practicing at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Davis starts with the core belief that each person already has everything they need to live a life of joy and fulfillment, and that therapy is just a process of uncovering their inherent wholeness. Dr. Davis gently invites her clients to uncover their strengths in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Dr. Davis completed MBSR facilitator training through the Center for Mindfulness at UCSD. Dr. Davis is also a 200-hour trained yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance.