Our self-focused culture emphasizes the importance of self-image and constantly sends us messages of how we should look, should act, should be. This proves to be exhausting!
Today’s practice is inspired by a quote from Pema Chodron which beautifully explains what we are missing when we live our lives entrenched in self-centered thoughts.
Being preoccupied with our self-image is like being deaf and blind. It’s like standing in the middle of a vast field of wildflowers with a black hood over our heads. It’s like coming upon a tree of singing birds while wearing earplugs.
In this exercise, we will let go of preconceived notions of how we should present to the world and become more connected with the here and now. By accepting ourselves just as we are in this moment, we free ourselves from negative self-talk and gain increased awareness of our surroundings.
To begin, find a comfortable, preferably seated position, and gently close your eyes. With every inhale, silently state to yourself “I am enough.” With every exhale, gently release any tension you may feel in your body or any thoughts self-criticism that may arise. You may observe the urge to do this exercise “correctly.” If this thought arises, simply return to the statement “I am enough.” Repeat this process for 5 minutes, continuing to notice any judgments that may show up during the practice.
When we begin to move away from self-centeredness and the need to be a certain way, we open ourselves up to fully engaging in the world around us. I hope you are able to more fully notice your personal “field of wildflowers” today, whatever that may be!