Mindful Relationships

Have you ever thought about your relationships? I mean really sat down and thought long and hard about what your relationships mean to you, where they are at and where they are going. Have you ever considered the part that you play in the success or failure of past and present relationships and how they played out?

The Garden of Love

The Stoics believed that a rational and reasoned human being sought to derive the best possible outcomes in a mutually beneficial relationship. People do not exist for our own sake, we exist for the sake of each other. We are meant to be interdependent units that live in a system that depends on cooperation and collaboration between us and others; between human beings.

One could argue that the Stoics advocated “mindful relationships”. They believed that relationships were cultivated like a garden. With mindful effort and the correct amount of attention, sunlight, water and nutrients the garden will grow and prosper while the garden that is neglected will wither and die.


Mindfulness and People

Relationships can be challenging but also very rewarding. People that actually take time to reflect on their relationships and the way in which they manage them are more likely to create positive partnerships. One of the ways which we can recover a failing relationship or improve an existing one is through mindfulness. First we need to consider what kind of relationship we are in and where improvements are required before we can take meaningful action to improve them.

There are three types of relationships which exist and each is directly correlated to the degree of mindfulness generally applied:

1. Co-dependent relationships

Co-dependent relationships are based on an imbalance between two people that results in a dysfunctional dynamic. Usually this manifests as one person being over reliant on the approval of another. Without that recognition and approval the person feels invalidated, unloved or unwanted. Often these relationships are prone to subtle or open abuse by one party on the other usually without much resistance. The abuse is tolerated for the sake of the relationship. Because the person feels trapped in it they are unwilling or unable to demand change or leave. Mindfulness is not a factor in these relationships.


2. Independent relationships

Independent relationships are those in which both parties in a relationship are happily going about their own business without requiring the consent or support of the other. Often people in an independent relationship will appear to be living “separate lives”. They are on different wave lengths in their respective professional lives, personal interests and even family activities. A stable medium may exist for years but such couples generally drift apart after a while and find that they have little to nothing in common when they are forced to confront their relationship and face each other.

Married couples who dedicate all of their time and effort to raising kids and pursuing career and financial goals for example fit in to this category. When the kids flight the nest and retirement looms they are virtual strangers as they have failed to nurture their own relationship over the years. The degree of mindfulness in this relationship is low and based on ensuring that the other person is there and capable of functioning in their “role”. Life is purely one of routine and rushing from one thing to the next.


3. Interdependent relationships

Interdependent relationships are mindful relationships because partners understand, know and appreciate each other for who they are and what they bring to the relationship. Each is free to be their own person but at the same time they are there to support, validate and nurture the other in their own aspirations. Communication is the key foundation in the interdependent relationship as is the acknowledgement of the others views and needs. An open team approach resides over the relationship where each works with, not against the other. A dominant party does not exist as each are equal partners. Mutual trust and respect is a natural outcome. Such relationships are compassionate and honest and built to last.

Mindfulness for Life

In 2004 a study conducted by the University of North Carolina found that couples who practiced mindfulness saw real improvements in their relationships. The practice of mindfulness meditation also resulted in significant reduction in levels of stress and interpersonal conflict within the relationship. It could be argued that mindfulness could be the relationship therapy that many of us need.

A book was published in 2016 on the subject called “Mindful Relationships” (Exisle Publishing) by Dr Richard Chambers and Margie Ulbrick. The book explores “how we can use mindfulness to:

  • develop a more compassionate, friendly relationship with ourselves and others
  • increase awareness of our own and others’ relational patterns
  • calm and soothe our emotions and be there for others
  • communicate more effectively
  • enhance connection and empathy
  • reduce defensive patterns, allowing for more authenticity, and
  • work effectively within families and larger systems such as workplaces.

Case studies are included throughout to highlight key principles, as well as practical exercises to enable the reader to develop their mindfulness skills”.*



Mindfulness meditation** and recent modalities like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) ***are two easy and practical ways to improve quality of life.  Mindfulness techniques can be applied to help with physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being and personal development. To draw a Star Wars parallel, Yoda would have been an expert in mindfulness and given his age and general happy disposition and vitality the benefits of the practice clearly paid off!

By practicing mindfulness we are more likely to be in tune with our own feelings and the feelings of others. This opens the way for understanding and empathy. We begin to appreciate the needs of the other person and focus less on our own needs. As we start to pay more attention to our partner we find that it is reciprocated in return. Emotions can be played out in constructive ways. Rather than getting angry and resentful about our partner we can actually express ourselves in an open and transparent way. Through effective communication and active listening we engage in dialogue and come to mutual understanding. No one likes to be shut down or blocked out by their loved one. Mindfulness encourages us to engage with our emotions and with people in a calm and measured way without compromising our values.



Meditation is the most effective approach to cultivate mindfulness. The beauty about meditation is that it can be done alone or in group or as a couple. The intimacy and shared experience of meditation can build a stronger bond between people. The practice allows us to pay attention to our thoughts and remove the noise from our mind allowing us to be more open to others. We achieve a greater sense of inner peace and tranquillity. If those around us also meditate and practice mindfulness we begin to reside on similar mental wavelengths. Harmony is created. I believe that partners who meditate together are more likely to stay together. So if your partner is up for it, meditate and tend to your garden


You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace, passive” – Yoda


* https://www.exislepublishing.com.au/Mindful-Relationships.html

** https://www.exislepublishing.com.au/Mindfulness-for-Life.html

***https://thehappinesstrap.com/ (The Happiness Trap Book)

Jedi practice meditation

Meditation is clearly a part of the Jedi lifestyle. Jedi believe that a calm mind can be achieved through meditation and contemplation. Jedi need to meditate often in order to clear their minds. Our minds, like sponges, get contaminated from the world, and need to be cleaned out daily. We even absorb things from those who are around us, and from our environments, the food we eat, etc. so it’s important to keep a calm, focused, clear mind and to meditate daily.

(33 Jedi Traits)

The Finger at the Moon

When we think of the Buddha we imagine a spiritual person sitting in a lotus position meditating. There is a serene expression on his face. The image captures a sense of peace, calm and equanimity. Nothing could disturb that state. Meditation is like a peddle in a pond but it also a rock in a sea of chaos. By sitting we clear our mind of the noise and pollution of the day. Meditation allows us to unify body, mind and soul for a short time. We are unified with our true state of being.

Quiet the mind and the soul will speak” – Bhagavati

To Jedi the practice of meditation is more than a daily practice or a discipline. The Jedi use meditation and contemplation to better understand the nature of the Force and to seek connection with the Force that resides within. The fictional Jedi are often presented in the state of meditation. Yoda levitating above a forest floor, Obi-Wan Kenobi cross legged with eyes closed and head tilted slightly forward, his back straight and hands cupped before him is how we imagine it. Yet meditation need not seem mysterious or mystical. It is not the sole domain of Monastics, Warrior-Monks and Mystics.

“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace” – Yoda

When asked to explain the moon, an old Zen Master pointed at the moon. Meditation is not a secret esoteric practice, it is simple and available to all. The reason to meditate is to bring us body, mind and soul to the present moment and to who we truly are.


I have to admit I have tried to practice meditation since I was a child. For me it was an escape from reality. It took me to places of peace and tranquillity. Laying in bed I would focus and on the breath. I would let go and seemingly be transported to another realm of consciousness. It seemed that I was being projected through space. Entire galaxies and bright nebulae arched past me as vivid as if they were real. I felt as if I were separate from my body and would soon open my eyes and find myself back in my room. An energy would resonate through me. I felt I had been gone for hours.

Through my years of active alcoholism I tried to recapture that magical sensation of being completely aware of my inner and outer world. I wanted to project my consciousness to another dimension as I seemed to have done as a child. There was a peace, a holiness there. Something pure and serene. It felt like home. Booze let me escape from reality but there was no answer there just more suffering.

“I meditate so that my mind cannot complicate my life” – Sri Chinmoy

Meditation is not about escape or withdrawal from life it is about being completely in engaged in life. It is about knowing our selves.

Learning to Breath

As much as I tried I could never meditate again. My mind was agog with thoughts and activity. The noise was too loud. My emotions bubbled under the surface and could not be ignored. Every time I tried to sit I found that negative thoughts and images would intrude and grow stronger as I fought to remove them. My breath was all other the place. I could not even breath normally. It was pointless and the only time I imagined some success was when I fell asleep.

Meditation is easy but it also very hard. For me it was like learning to breath correctly after a lifetime of doing it wrong. Many of us in recovery know the benefits and we practice meditation because it helps us cope. We sit every day. Some days we can manage a few minutes of Meditation without succumbing to a train of thought other day we can last for 20 minutes to an hour.

Meditation is not zoning out as some would believe. It is being completely aware of what is going on inside and outside of ourselves. We are allowing our body to sleep while our mind is completely awake. Meditation is an active process of focus and attention. Contemplation is meditating on the Divine self. This requires effort and practice.

“True meditation has no direction or goal. It is pure silent prayer” – Adyashanti

Seek though Meditation

The 12 Steps suggest meditation as a way of building a solid foundation to our recovery. How we meditate or contemplate our Higher Power is up to each of us. The idea is that we devote some time daily to the practice. The benefits are emotional and spiritual balance and stability.  We can meditate to music, a meditation chime or simply by following the breath. Some people use a mantra to help them focus. I use “calm, at peace, passive”, each word follows the other with the breath. “I am one with the Force and the Force is with me” is another mantra that I use to help connect me to the Force.

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” – Step 11


Meditation is a personal practice. Each person will find a different way to sit in meditation or contemplation. It can be done lying down, sitting, in a lotus position or even walking. Lying down may bring on sleep and the lotus position can be painful. Use a straight back chair and sit upright with both feet on the floor and hands crossed on your lap. With head tilted slightly forward get comfortable and take three deep breaths and clear your mind. Now close your eyes and commence a mantra or listen to a guided meditation*. Otherwise relax your eyes and focus on an object a few feet away. Allow your awareness to expand outward, growing larger with every breath.

Now allow yourself to relax completely and scan your body from feet to head. Lingering at each body part imagine a white light there enveloping it and glowing softly. As you work your focus upward feel each body part releasing and relaxing as the light spreads. With the end of the body scan return to the breath or the mantra or continue to allow the guide to take you through the meditation. If thoughts start to form in your mind simply let them go imagining them to be like clouds passing in the wind. Allow any body distractions such as itching or aches to gently dissipate without getting distracted. Shift your body slightly or scratch the itch if required and resume focus without breaking attention. As the time comes allow yourself to gently exit the meditation. Look around you and see how everything appears clearer and sharper.

“Meditation is a vital way to purify and quiet the mind, thus rejuvenate the body” – Deepak Chopra

*Jedi Meditations (courtesy Jedi Living):

Jedi live in the present moment

Jedi live in the here and now, and don’t have stress about the future or the past. This isn’t as easy as it might seem because the mind always rushes to the future or past. Contact with the Living Force always occurs in the present moment. The mind is our tool, and we need to stop the incessant thinking and mental chatter that comes from the mind in order to be conscious of the present moment, and to live in the present moment. We need to control the mind, and not let the mind control us.

(The 33 Jedi Traits)

Like Air

Mindfulness is defined by the Webster dictionary as “The practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” Other sources define mindfulness as pretty much the same thing, the practice of being present in the here and now. In other words being mentally right here in this present moment as you read these words. Mindfulness is nothing more than that. If we still our mind for a minute and sense every quiver, every sensation in our body without judgement. If we allow thoughts to pass like clouds without engaging them. We are completely aware of what is happening inside and outside of ourselves with each passing breath, that is mindfulness.

“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives.
It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment.
We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources
for insight, transformation, and healing”.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is a word that has a lot of connotations and brings up a lot of imagery like meditating monks, yoga on the beach or a child humming while drawing shapes. All of these things are mindfulness in action. The word is also a cliché.

In recent years the term has become a buzz word in marketing, entrepreneurship, leadership and the health industry. Thousands of books and magazine articles have been written on the health benefits of Mindfulness and hundreds more on how to be mindful. Entire shelves and racks in book shops and magazine stores are full of coloring books that promote mindful practices by sitting for a few minutes a day shading in shapes with colored pencils.

Psychologists refer their clients to courses and apps that teach and guide them through mindfulness techniques. There is mindfulness techniques offered for all activities, cooking, cleaning, running, walking, child raising, working and breathing. The sheer genius of business to make a multi-billion industry out of Mindfulness astounds me. Since Eckhart Tolle penned the “Power of Now” the mindfulness craze has touched just about everyone in the west.

I have friends who are lifelong Buddhists. They watch the current phenomena with despair and  bemoan the rampant commercialization of Mindfulness. They feel that a noble practice has been hijacked for profit. The idea that someone could do something as audacious as sell mindfulness for vast profits seems insane. It is like selling air.


The Past

What many people don’t realize is that mindfulness has been around for a very long time. In fact it is part of our makeup. The Eastern and Western philosophies and spiritual traditions have advocated mindfulness and the power of living in the Now for millennia. Mindfulness is no mystery, people just don’t live in the present. Our minds are perched in the past as we ruminate on events or regrets.

We ask ourselves “why” and berate ourselves for mistakes as if we could turn the clock back and make things right. Of course we can’t and to think this way is a form of insanity. The best we can do is learn from the past and resolve not to make the same mistakes again. We can and should make amends for past mistakes if we can. If we can’t we should learn to forgive ourselves and others and move on with our life

Listing the wrongs I had to done to people in my past and seeking to make amends was a Step I took in my first year of recovery. It was one of the hardest but also the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was compelled to face my role in past grievances and let the blame on others go. Grievances, blame and grudges against people and organizations were forgotten. I started to realize where I had made mistakes and burned bridges. Resentment seemed like such a foolish notion and I was able to forgive and let go. Those I approached and confessed my wrongs were open armed and understanding.

I began to realize the value of sincerity and honesty. Humility without self depreciation and mutual respect for others became virtues more valuable than gold. I realized my resentments and belligerency and refusal to forgive and forget had cost me many opportunities. Determined to place it all behind me I moved on with my life. The past is there as a resource. The best lessons in life are learned from the worst mistakes. I don’t reside in the past now but I won’t forget it either.

The Future

We also tend to compromise the present by projecting our minds in to the Future. We are always heading somewhere. Goals and targets are set. Preconceived conditions are made that determine what our imagined state of happiness or fulfillment is. We set conditions like; “Once I get that promotion things will be perfect” and “I’ll finish my degree and life will be great” or “Once I make a couple of million I’ll retire and be happy”. These statements make two assumptions about the future which are largely out of our control; that these events will occur as planned and that we’ll derive a perpetual state of fulfillment, happiness or contentment on reaching that goal.

Obviously life does not always play along with our plans and when they do we find ourselves no better off than when we started. The Promotion provides more money and perks but has more responsibility and stress. The degree allows us to do other things but life is anything but “great” because we can’t start the career the course promised or we get jaded as reality bites. We eventually make enough money to retire and find ourselves too old to “really live” or we retire early and find that life is not so green on the other side of the day to day grind.

The Lure of Tomorrow

When I was in the Army I volunteered for a posting to a country in Africa. I decided that the posting would provide invaluable experience and would be worth two years of my life. Within a few months I was counting the days and months down to the end of my rotation. I dreamed of what it would be like when I got back home and imagined wonderful things. Depression set in as the months dragged on and the tempo ranged from full alert on long range patrols to days of mind numbing barrack duties.

Eventually the day arrived when I got on a plane and flew out. The elation was short lived. Months later I was wishing I was back. I hear veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq say the same thing, wanted to be home and then wanted to be back. For two years I lived with my head in some place other than the here and now.

I can still remember laying in the desert under a sky filled with stars and hearing jackals yelping in the distance. The burning sunsets over a parched land in all its splendor. The call of wild birds in the mountain forests and the cries of Baboons. Mountains that rose above the desert capped with clouds and covered in ancient forests. A train of camels being led by men wearing skirts gilded with large belts bearing long curved swords. Images that haunt me to this day and yet at the time I was utterly miserable and longed for a better tomorrow.

One of the reasons alcoholism is so spiritually debilitating is because it keeps us anywhere but in the Now. We don’t want to face the reality of the present moment. So we drink to escape to an imagined past or a better future.

Living in the Now

What is a modern day cliché has actually been known for thousands of years. Life happens in the here and now. Not in the past and not in some time in the future. The past is gone beyond recall and the future is uncertain. Every moment we find ourselves in is the Now. There is no time other than the Now which really matters. We plan for the future in the Now, we regret or remember the past in the Now. Our mind may be trying to drag us to the future, our Ego may be ruminating on the past but all of this is happening in the present moment. Every moment that we are absent is a moment lost.

The benefits of living in the Now are well documented. Everyone knows that stress is a killer. Research has shown that mindfulness practice leads to lower stress and anxiety levels. Lower stress in turn has a benefit to cardiovascular health, sleep and immunity. We become more in tune with our emotions and learn to deal with them objectively and constructively. Our senses become more refined, we begin to notice the world around us more.

Listening to others becomes easier. We are able to stop and appreciate the sights and sounds of life. Food is tasted rather than being hurriedly shoved in to our mouths. We become more conscious of our body in a healthy way and start to care for it more.

The things that upset us or caused us anxiety and depression in the past no longer have that effect. We are more resilient and accepting of life’s vicissitudes. Relationships with other people improve and as we become more self accepting we start to appreciate others more and are more empathetic. We find ourselves calm in the midst of a raging storm. Who would not want that?

You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day
– unless you’re too busy –
then you should sit for an hour.

– Old Zen adage –


Meditation is a mindfulness exercise however one can practice mindfulness anywhere, anytime. While driving a car, brushing the dog, washing the dishes, listening to music, playing with the kids and in fact doing just about any activity. It is simply paying attention to what you are doing. Commit your mind to the task with intent. If you are washing the dishes you are only washing the dishes and nothing else. Feel the water on your hands, the hardness of the porcelain and cutlery. Hear the sounds it makes. Use all of your senses.

Allow mental intrusions to pass without engaging them. You can focus on the breath, the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen. If thoughts distract you simply return to the breath. There is a saying that when an old man sits, he only sits, there is nothing else going on; this is the essence of mindfulness.

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

Sanskrit proverb

Mindfulness and Meditation

Your focus determines your reality” – Qui-Gon Jinn (The Phantom Menace)

Spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation have been shown to improve psychological well-being and reduce depression and anxiety. Prayer while mostly associated with religious practice is also used by people to help them cope with difficult situations or to seek guidance from a Higher Power. Meditation is also often associated with monastic or religious practice but is also increasingly being recommended as a natural treatment to those who are recovering from alcoholism and drug abuse, the survivors of childhood abuse and trauma, the bereaved and those with anxiety and depression. Mindfulness is probably one of the most ubiquitous and popular methods used today to address almost any undesired mental state.

Feeling anxious or hurried? Try focusing on the breath and bringing yourself to the moment. Irritated by the driver who just cut you off in Traffic? Be mindful and smile inwardly, do not allow thoughts to cloud the serenity of the moment…Breathe…

Mindfulness, meditation, contemplation and prayer are essentially the same thing but practiced in slightly different ways and each carries a different connotation. At the basic level all are exercises in bringing the mind to the present moment and giving it the full attention that it deserves. Over the next few months we will explore each.

Besides the clear benefits to mental and emotional well-being, mindfulness practices have also been shown to effectively change the brain through neuroplasticity. Research has shown that people who devote 20 minutes daily to quiet prayer or contemplation, meditation or mindfulness will have an effect on the neural pathways of the brain and in time the organizational structure of the brain and the patterns of thought and behavior in a person will gradually change.


Meditation is generally accepted as a formal practice of being completely aware through a process of focus on an internal or external source for a period of time. Some people imagine that meditation is a form of relaxation and reverie. Meditation is actually being completely aware of every sensation in the body, every passing thought and the external environment and having no judgment either good or bad to any of it. The body is completely relaxed and the mind is sharpened and aware. Thoughts recede in the background and awareness expands inward and outwards. A sense of joy emanates from deep within as if the body has re-discovered its natural state of being. Through Meditation you are being completely mindful. Although meditation is seen more as a formal practice of sitting in a lotus position and either focusing on the breath or repeating a mantra, Mindfulness is the state that is being achieved.


You can experience and practice mindfulness in almost any situation and should strive to do so. Washing dishes, brushing your teeth, walking or running, eating food or making love are all acts that if done mindfully becomes an experience in to which you immerse yourself rather than a mindless exercise. Book stores these days are abound with coloring books that promote the practice of mindfulness through the simple act of coloring in pictures.

Being mindful in your thoughts, words and actions is also important as it clears the mind and places emphasis on purpose and in staying calm particularly during times when emotions may be charged. Mindfulness is simply applying focus and attention to the present moment. Our mind often resembles a tree full of chattering monkeys. Meditation, mindfulness and prayer silences those monkeys and puts us in touch with our higher self.

Focus is the Key

Whatever it is you are doing today, give it the full attention that it deserves. If you are conversing with a friend or family member, listen intently and notice their facial expressions, the tone of their voice and their subtle movements. Experience the food and drink you put in your mouth, taste the flavor, feel the texture and smell the aroma. Take a moment to breathe in fresh air when you step outside in the morning and pause to appreciate the sights and sounds around you rather than being preoccupied with distracting thoughts.

Say a short prayer of gratitude or affirmation to center yourself. Take a moment to breathe deeply three or four times and then to scan your body from head to toe allowing each part of the body part of relax in turn. Focus on your breath, count breaths if required and if your mind drifts gently bring it back to the breath and continue for a minute or more.

The beauty with this practice is that you can do it almost anywhere, anytime whether you are sitting in a waiting room or waiting for a Bus, walking or even running. The ego would prefer that we remain disconnected from the present and confine our mind in the past or projected to the future, anywhere but now. That is the state that most people find normal, however the reality is that the opposite is true, a state of Zen is the most natural state of being that a human can achieve and it is in all of us waiting to be tapped.

Mindfulness in Action

‘You will know good from bad when you are calm, at peace, passive” – Yoda

These words follow from Yoda admonishing Luke Skywalker to “unlearn what you have learned”. The essence of the words are mindfulness. To be free of the noise and turmoil that often hijacks our minds and derails our better judgment. How often have you been pressed to act on a hasty decision or an emotional response rather than take a deep breath and reserve the right to act or respond later?

I know some of the best speeches I ever made were the ones I later regretted. They were full of passion or venom and self-righteous anger and while my words got all the attention they deserved the reaction and consequences were not intended.  Perhaps if I had bit my tongue, gone for a walk or simply decided to remain silent things may have been different and worked out better. I would not have found myself in a position where I needed to apologize and make amends later.

Being “calm, at peace, passive” describes a state of equanimity where emotions are calmed, passions are absent and thoughts, words and actions are considered mindfully and with full awareness of their impacts now and in the future. In this state the mind is also clear of clutter and judgment and more likely to objectively respond to circumstances that may appear undesirable.

Having a clear mind also allows one to better receive knowledge and to learn from a teacher. Yoda was making an observation of Luke’s state of mind and lack of experience and giving him the key to progressing as a Jedi. He was challenging Luke to “empty his cup and return with an empty mind” in the spirit of the Zen Teacher. I don’t know about you but I was never a good student if I felt like I knew it all already and went in to a class with a negative attitude. The truth is, we never stop learning and there is no harm in being taught the same thing a second, third or fourth time, you may actually learn something new!

Coming in to recovery I had to calm down and embrace the “easy does it” approach. I had to learn to take things as they came without judgment, to recognize that my inner turmoil was nothing more than a mental projection manifesting as a set of emotions. Much of what I was sensing as I “came to know sanity” was not real, I had to simply acknowledge, accept and let these emotions go. In  time through applying mindfulness and meditation I began to be more calm and truly live “one day at a time” seeking to be more present and in the moment.

The brain does change with time through neuroplasticity and over a span of months I found that I changed gradually, at first I didn’t notice but people remarked that I seemed “different”, more calm. Progress can takes months and years, the important thing to remember is that recovery and personal growth is a metaphor for a life journey, one never reaches perfection and the end of the road is the day we die. You may falter and fall along the way but get up and keep going, you may never be completely free of your inner Demons but it does get better.

Mindfulness – Spot Meditation

Take a minute now and then through the day to simply breathe and follow the rise and fall of your diaphragm as you inhale and exhale.

Close your eyes if you need to and quietly say “Calm”, breath in and say “At Peace”, breath in again deeply and say “Passive”.

Slowly exhale on every out breath and let your body relax. Take a moment to scan your body for any obvious tension and let it go.

Now observe without total judgment what is going on inside your mind, throw a beam of light on it. Any negative thoughts will flight when observed, let them Go without judgment.

Now do the same and impartially observe any emotions inside you, focus on the center of your core just below the solar plexus.

Feel any tightness or tension there, explore it without judgment and finally let it go imagining the space is filled with a Golden Light.

Now breathe in again deeply three or four more times, open your eyes if they are closed and look around the room.

Notice how you feel different and everything looks a little sharper? That is mindfulness in action.