Mindfulness

Mindful: Getting off Auto Pilot and Living Life as if it Matters

Micki Fine Mindfulness Self-Care HoustonSelf-Care Houston, Episode 15: Micki Fine joins Jennifer in a conversation about the importance of developing mindful daily living: “Waking up to life and what it means to be fully human.” Micki is the founder and director of Mindful Living and pioneer of mindfulness in Houston, Texas.  She is the author of, “The Need to Please: Mindfulness Skills for Gaining Freedom from Chronic People Pleasing and Approval Seeking.” She is also in the process of publishing a children’s book about Loving Kindness. You can find Micki and her mindfulness workshops at Living Mindfully. Subscribe in iTunes.

Rumi The Guest House

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University of St. Thomas Labyrinth

A friend of mine recently recommended visiting labyrinths throughout Houston as part of my “healing space” journey. Houston has a number unique labyrinths, located all over the city and surrounding area. I visited the Labyrinth at St. Thomas University, a replica of the labyrinth in Chartres, France. I was deeply moved by the beauty and the serenity of the space. Gentle water fountains line the side the labyrinth closest to Alabama Street, quietly subduing the sound of the traffic. Children’s laughter from a nearby elementary school mixed with the sounds of the birds and trees.

St. thomas labyrinth

Every time I walk, I have a unique experience. On this occasion, I felt myself calm and become centered throughout my walking meditation. Throughout the rest of the day, I continued to reflect on the experience and carry the peace of the walk with me. The labyrinth at St. Thomas University has definitely been added to my “Houston Healing Spaces” list.

St. Thomas Labyrinth 3

Benefits of Labyrinth Walking: 

“Labyrinth walking is said to benefit participants by allowing a temporary suspension of so-called left-brain activity—logical thought, analysis, and fact-based planning—and encourage the emergence of the intuition and imaginative creativity associated with the right brain. labyrinth walking puts them in touch with simple body rhythms. Because labyrinth walking involves physical movement, participants may find themselves becoming more mindful of their breathing patterns, the repetition of their footfalls, and the reorientation of the entire body that occurs as they move through the circular turns within the labyrinth. More particularly, the overall pattern of movement in labyrinth walking—first inward toward the center of the labyrinth and then outward on the return path—holds deep symbolic meaning for many people.” (Encyclopedia.com)

St. Thomas Labyrinth 2

Lightstream Meditation

The light stream is a relaxation meditation used to calm distressing sensations in the body. It is also a body scan that allows you to be compassionate and mindful of what you are experiencing and feeling in this present moment. This is an adaptation of Francine Shapiro’s original Light Stream.

Advent Inspired Loving Kindness Centering Prayer

A loving kindness prayer uses words and images to evoke feelings of loving kindness toward oneself and others. According to the article, “18 Science-Based Reasons to Try Loving Kindness Meditation Today,” a consistent practice of a Loving Kindness meditation can decrease symptoms of PTSD, improve wellbeing, and bolster the immune system.

The following Loving-Kindness meditation is inspired by the virtues celebrated during the weeks of Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. This form of a prayer focuses on God’s loving kindness toward us and how we then become a vessel of His love toward others.

Mark Williams Mindfulness Meditations

Mark Williams, a professor at Oxford University, offers a collection of free audio meditations. All of the meditations are taken from the book he wrote in collaboration with Danny Penman: Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World. 

I have used a number of these meditations with my own clients over the years. Many have commented on how the practice helps to calm their racing minds and feel more centered in the present moment.

Free Audio Mindfulness Meditations by Mark Williams

 

 

Light Stream

The light stream is a relaxation meditation used to calm distressing sensations in the body. It is also a body scan that allows you to be compassionate and mindful of what you are experiencing and feeling in this present moment. This is an adaptation of Francine Shapiro’s original Light Stream.

Photo taken by Reese Christian

Breathing Space

A breathing space meditation is a brief meditation used several times each day to gently create a new habit of mindfulness. The four minute breathing space is simple and easy to use two to three times a day.

Breathing Space Practice:

  • Two or Three times each day
  • Each day, notice and jot down any differences

Loving Kindness Centering Prayer

A loving kindness prayer uses words and images to evoke feelings of loving kindness toward oneself and others. The following Loving-Kindness meditation is in the form of a prayer that focuses on God’s loving kindness toward us and how we then become a vessel of His love toward others.

Loving Kindness Meditation

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