When feeling uneasy, restless or anxious, I gravitate towards mindfulness exercises that ground me and serve as a reminder that I am NOT my struggle. What a welcome insight in times of difficulty! Mindfulness practice does not have the power to stop whatever pain we are experiencing, but it can create opportunity to observe whatever is happening without judgment, with gentleness and also recognition that what we are in touch with is bound to pass. I take comfort in this awareness, especially when pummeled by fear or burdened by sadness.
Mountain mindfulness exercise is one of my favorite mindfulness exercises, partly due to my love of mountains, and partly due to the fact that when I am weary or doubtful of capacity to remain resilient in the face of stress, it powerfully re-ignites my faith.
Begin by finding a comfortable position and taking a few deeper breaths to center yourself. Be present to your breath for a while and when you are ready, begin to visualize a majestic mountain. Take some time to paint a vivid picture of the mountain in your mind. Now imagine that you are this mountain. Still. Solid. Unmoving. Visualize the mountain as seasons begin to change. See it in the spring, in the summer, then in the fall and winter. Notice all the changes. Notice changing weather on the mountain. Sometimes there are storms and heavy downpours, at other times the sun is shining and there is a gentle breeze. Lastly, notice how the mountain changes through the course of a day. Take time with this visualization.
Feel yourself unwavering and grounded as all these changes are occurring. You are simply observing, remembering that all will pass: your thoughts, emotions, sensations are transient, akin to fleeting weather patterns.