Mindfulness experiences: how magical & unbearable it was…
I will be sharing my mindfulness experience extensively here. The reason I started mindfulness? If you follow the mindfulness curriculum with homework exactly, you will know based on scientific evidence that mindfulness will give you a better life. The official mindfulness curriculum has been scientifically developed for decades! Read along for my experiences…
My Mindfulness Experience: Week 1
Week 1 started full of surprising discoveries. First, I gained deep respect for fellow students with chronic pain. I couldn’t even accept my little aches and pains, even though I am perfectly healthy.
On day 1, I was immediately aware of how often compulsive thoughts come up, for example, in routine activities.
Then you had mindful eating in the first week. Eating a simple raisin gave me joy because such a raisin normally gives little pleasure in eating. My appetite didn’t get in the way of exercise.
But … eating half a kilo of fish very slowly while I was hungry was more of a punishment than that raisin, because it is so tasty and so much. While I have to eat it so slowly. Yet there was also pleasure in it. I made completely different discoveries with each mini-piece of fish. I was very impatient because of the hunger.
Then the body scan . How difficult that was the first time! Over and over I was distracted in thoughts. But on the other hand, I got very clear ideas. I sat it down. In addition, I got a sleeping leg. Do not shift! But I had resistance, it felt like punishment! The acceptance to pain was only short.
Day 2. I was looking forward to meditating. The three homework assignments to be precise. I could only do it in the evening. I didn’t make it to my intention to get up very early and then do it … In the evening I continued the homework, despite tiredness. Because of this I sleep much too late because I make my evening extra perfect.
That night’s body scan was interesting. The itchiness (probably from a mosquito bite) forced me into my body.
Brushing my teeth was the minful routine I had chosen. I’m starting to enjoy it too. That pleasure came from the moment I started feeling my toothbrush: the button, the ribs …
Day 3: again I did all my homework, of course, but very late again. This was at the expense of the performance: thoughts kept coming up as to whether I fell asleep during the exercise.
Mindful eating on this day was interesting! Until now I notice that every time I want to start with mindful eating, I automatically take the first bite and only realize after the bite that I had done it. Just reset! So I had to start over and over with official mindful eating: slowly discovering everything … Suddenly I became curious about the sound of this piece of food, and all the other food! All food bounces back, and all food has about the same crackling sound. I did not expect the nut-like smell of the chickpea! It reminded me of walnuts.
Mindful brushing my teeth: yet my thoughts had wandered twice in the end.
Day 4: less tired, still often distracted with my attention during the body scan. Just as often as yesterday. The first 2 days went better. It may also be very challenging to stay with one body part for several minutes. It’s still interesting for the first 10
seconds, but soon …
Mindful eating: that first automatic bite again … Reset again and start the exercise again. By the way, the cheese does not make a crackling noise, that is the first piece of food without that noise! Bread does have it, but it’s a more interesting type of crunchy sound. My mind is always looking for ways to multitask while eating, it is literally distracted by something new it sees and what it wants to discover while eating.
Day 5: I had chosen to brush my teeth. But I secretly started doing other mindful things too, such as washing my hands or taking a shower.
Mindful eating: cheese suddenly had that same crackling sound today!
Body scan: I fell asleep again, it didn’t go well again because thoughts kept coming up.
Day 6: still with mindful eating that first bite that always goes automatically! I wanted to retake with an apple, but I immediately got my teeth into that too! What a discovery about my autopilot!
Day 7: nice discovery. Warm things are nice to do mindful things like showering, washing hands and drinking tea.
Mindful daily activities: no brushing your teeth, but a mindful bike ride today. And that was the low point. Immediately after I decided that this would be my mindful routine activity, a period of 30 minutes started during which I was completely unconscious. So 30 minutes later I woke up from my thoughts, while in those 30 minutes I had also made the bike ride completely unaffected.
The body scan went very well, but that was because I had done it without audio recording, but sat down independently for 45 minutes.
My Mindfulness Experience: Week 2
I made a whole new level of discoveries about myself this week: deeper discoveries.
Day 1: Mindful cycling is difficult. I am reliving the whole day in my head. I do so much by bike! Go through day, evaluate day, come up with solutions to problems, fantasize …
Day 2: mindful cycling made me more awake and two people in a row in the supermarket started a conversation with me. I already knew that this would be the effect of mindfulness, and now was the first moment where I got confirmation of that during this training.
It’s a beautiful day. Again that warmth that makes mindfulness easier.
Body scan: half asleep again. But I had never done it in the morning until now.
Day 3: I have regained my awareness of the function of bicycle multitasking.
Happy event: I was so happy to experience Maria’s Johanna’s philosophy of life. We had an energy exchange (exchanging a service, product or money for another service, product or money) for a 20-minute movie.
Body scan: I am constantly running away in my thoughts. I think they give 45 minutes as an assignment on purpose, because it is impossible not to come up with a thought. This makes us aware of how often we dream away.
Day 4: Every day something nice, coincidental, cheerful, happy or a stroke of luck happens if you practice mindfulness that day. Your life will be rich!
Happy event: I was already at peace with losing my bike key in the gym, but because of the friendly employee who gave me a thorough search, I found it!
Body scan: when I fall asleep, it is during the quiet moments in the tape. Then I fall asleep for a moment. When the pressure not to think is gone, things get better: I accept and I surrender!
Day 5: I get a familiar feeling. It starts to get used to. I also have more control.
Day 6: really had a happy event! Katharina, one of the NLP trainers graduated at UNLP, told me one of her insights: the paper you get is no longer important!
I keep getting them by the way: compliments on my charisma and charisma. Also a nice advantage of mindfulness!
Mindful cycling: the most beautiful ideas came up. That was not mindful at all, but it was handy that I got those brilliant ideas.
Body scan: for the first 5 minutes I didn’t even pay attention to my body for 2 seconds! New low. Some parts of the body had no feeling. Then it got difficult.
Happy calendar: I just keep getting them, those compliments. This time about my radiant face.
My Mindfulness Experience: Week 3
This week we were also allowed to note unpleasant situations, and immediately on day 1 I already got one. The seat problem: I had to unscrew a whole load of designer seats, even though they are very complicated. That takes long! “Damn!” I felt frustration. “Why can’t this be any other way!”
At such a moment we were allowed to do breathing space. That was a breathing exercise for during stressful moments. This made me go ahead and enjoy it a bit.
I also had more acceptance to thoughts that come up. Being aware of it is everything, and then back to the exercise! The alternation of multiple exercises was also welcome: we were also allowed to do a sitting meditation for breath.
Unhappy Event: I made it late again … It made me sad.
Day 2: breathing space. I started feeling how I feel now, and immediately nausea started. It’s nice to be able to acknowledge and feel that. Nice not to feel bad about the fact that I feel bad. I could feel really bad because of that. Fully!
Time passes quickly when I do the sitting meditation with focus on breathing, and so if I don’t have to do the body scan with the recording.
Unpleasant event: lost the key and I go crazy, because there are all kinds of things I have to do or that are not finished. Then feel again: breathing space. Everything flows. I feel the energy strengthening. Because that’s what it is: energy. When I breathe I feel it even worse, until it stops! And until finally joy comes!
Unpleasant event: I did not finish a few things. I made it late. Not cool … Apply breathing space to the fact that I made it late.
Day 3: I find it really more difficult with the audio recording than without. I did find that right after it was done, I got back into a ‘means to an end’ mode when walking away.
Day 4: I almost automatically do a breather exercise. How cool this. Such an 8-week mindfulness training really does give you powerful habits!
Day 5: I sat down with the intention of finding a comfortable place this time. Immediately intense joy of life came, but with thoughts attached to it, so I was not engaged in breathing awareness no matter how I tried.
Day 6: No negative event happened. For a few days now! Breathing space was therefore not necessary. Of course I did it anyway. It is so good.
My Mindfulness Experience: Week 4
Day 1: Stressful. Overtime. Again! I’m not too aware of it because it happens so often.
Stress, tired, go home sick.
I now realize that we are new every moment and can change it.
The stressful events of day 2:
– I was in danger of being late for Erna, with whom I had an appointment to have a mindfulness recording.
– Thinking, worrying, not paying attention to the here and now.
– Stress, fear, I have to be quick, how stupid of me that I went a little later.
I had a little more acceptance for it then than now that I’m writing it down.
Breathing space: nice to feel my fatigue for a moment.
Day 3: It wasn’t until I had been on my bike for a while that I became aware of the stressful activity of cycling while you left too late: not really being on time and therefore having to hurry. Still, I didn’t go faster on purpose. I felt energy and anxiety. I thought: again ?! I should have left earlier. Now I think: I can change this!
Today I applied breathing space for the fact that I am always directly on my mobile. I also felt the fatigue I felt that day. That doubled when I started to feel it. Then the mobile went away! Pattern interrupted successfully.
I was allowed to use breathing space again that day: I slammed a door through the anger that I was late. Immediately peace came through breathing space!
Body scan: I fell away and in my mind
Day 4: I have more peace with accepting fatigue and thoughts during sitting meditation.
Day 5: I feel fatigue during sitting meditation, but I have been most in the here and now!
Day 7: breathing space helped when things didn’t work out for the umpteenth time …
Sitting meditation went very well that day. Much acceptance and awareness in the now, and a beautiful attitude.
My Mindfulness Experience: Week 5
In week 5 I was also allowed to keep up with the difficult communication: I was on the phone in the gym locker room, and someone annoyedly asked if I wanted to do that elsewhere. I noticed that I wanted the other person to understand that we are just in a dressing room where it can be loud and where Moroccan boys are regularly yelling. And that we are not on a train, where that can be disturbing. And that it shouldn’t be a problem at all if you are also on a train that someone is going to call. But that we have all begun to regret that.
I felt annoyed and personally attacked which is no fun. I knew at the same time that only the ego would mind , but I still minded. Now I look at it with happiness because then I could feel my feelings.
Formal meditation went well, because it went fast: I used the guidance of Liesbeth Donders , so today I had not meditated for the full 45 minutes.
Meditate on sound: the first minutes were very easy, then difficult because I thought it was so easy, which distracted me anyway. Better luck next time!
Day 2: I arrived sweaty in a stuffy building. Found it difficult to communicate because my ego thinks I’m the only one who’s sweaty …
Day 3 of the difficult communication calendar: I had been thinking about all kinds of other things, all week, so that I could not start a conversation in the here-and-now and also not vulnerable . I literally had other things on my mind. This created difficult communication. I felt disappointed in myself. Fortunately I thought: logical, my thoughts are with all those other things. Now I look back at it peacefully because I learn from it.
Day 4: Tricky … I have some things to do in the morning, which makes listening meditation very challenging to be patient with.
Day 5: I feel total peace. But then the meditation: 45 minutes of total chaos, I was extremely unaware.
Difficult communication: the landlord wants things to be done faster or differently, while I was already busy. I felt depressed and irritated, but at the same time I was accepting.
Day 6: during my meditation I have extremely poor focus again. I think by feeling so bad, not exercising and having to finish so much.
Communication: I don’t pay any attention to the other. Just for my own struggle with the mindfulness exercises.
Learned in the evening: I bring my attention to parts of my body, with different points to focus on. I also bring my attention to the breath of other and myself. Stay with my own breath while listening to the other. That went twice as well as the first time. Mindfulness with others makes it much easier by the way.
My Mindfulness Experience: Week 6
This week we got to notice all of our automatic thoughts. That was really bizarre! Automatic thoughts that I have in the space of a few minutes: thinking back to my super fun theater sports final performance. I analyzed exactly how I improvised my piece. Imagine what it is like for a friend to come to Amsterdam. Suddenly thinking back to a news report about a new car brand used by the police. Suddenly thought of a childhood girlfriend. How it would be on my next trainer training. Thinking back to a funny video by Rini Stoutjesdijk. And much more! I had forgotten a lot of thoughts.
The thoughts were never helpful. They were often neutral and random, sometimes positive because they were good memories.
This week also very good ideas came up spontaneously while meditating.
My Mindfulness Experience: Weeks 7 and 8
I felt that week 7 and 8 was really a closure: I had the energy to do the meditations, and it went very well. So, 8 weeks completely closed … And what a bizarre experience that was! It turned my life upside down, and I learned to slowly start living in an ever-faster world.
My wish for you is to do this too. You can learn exactly how to use mindfulness techniques in your everyday life. Have fun with this!