Mindfulness (Lord of the Rings)

from by Alyssa Yeager

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Use a hobbit as your role model for appreciating the good things in life.

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Get into a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths and bring your attention to the here and now. Being in the moment can be difficult. Especially when the moment feels stressful or negative. One great way to practice mindfulness is focusing on being in the moment when you’re experiencing something positive. Notice all the physical and emotional sensations that accompany a positive moment. You’ll begin training your brain how satisfying mindfulness can be. This will make it easier for you to practice being mindful, even in difficult moments.
Our focus today is on recognizing and celebrating positive moments through mindful behavior. We’ll be using a unique role model to help us along: the hobbit! If you have a favorite hobbit, you can picture them now. If not, or if you’re not familiar with hobbits, imagine a small, somewhat stocky person (about 3 feet tall) with bare feet…large, hairy bare feet. They’re wearing simple peasant style garb, and likely have some food and drink in hand, or at least nearby! Hobbits can be excellent at embracing positive moments. We’re going to walk through 2 scenarios. First you’ll picture the hobbit in each scenario, then you’ll try to put yourself in their place.
The first scenario is 2nd breakfast. Your hobbit had a good night’s sleep and woke up around 9 AM, immediately making their way to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Following that, they cleaned up and got dressed for the day. It’s now just after 10, and the hobbit is eagerly preparing for second breakfast. Despite first breakfast happening barely an hour ago, the hobbit approaches second breakfast like someone imprisoned and starved for months. They fill their plate with whatever tasty treats are at hand and joyfully anticipate the feeling of a full belly. The hobbit inhales deeply with each morsel of food, taking in the look and smell of the food before experiencing the taste. They savor the deliciousness of each bite of their simple fare. Hearty bread and cheese, fresh fruit, smoked meats. In the hobbit’s perception, everything is mouthwatering, everything is 5 star quality. Take a moment to observe your hobbit as they celebrate the delight of second breakfast.
See if you can put yourself in the hobbit’s place, embracing this positive moment. Second breakfast can be whatever you wish. Imagine yourself preparing your plate with the food and drink that will satisfy your cravings. Appreciate the look of the food- the color, the arrangement. Lift the plate up and take a deep breath in through your nose, catching a tantalizing whiff of what’s to come. As you pick up each item, notice the texture on your fingers or against your lips as you take a bite. Let the taste fill your mouth and relish the flavor before you chew and swallow. Pay attention to the feeling of the food filling your body, giving you energy and enjoyment together. Celebrate every sensation of this simple snack. Next time you go to eat, try to bring yourself back to this visualization, and see how much enjoyment you can pull out of your meal.
The second scenario is reuniting with a long lost friend. Your hobbit is walking barefoot down a dirt path in the countryside one day. They round a bend in the road and suddenly, there is a friend up ahead, someone they haven’t seen in years. They are only yards away. The hobbit feels their heart begin to beat quickly. They can hardly believe it. Without thinking of anything else, they race forward to throw themselves into a huge hug! The embrace is returned and they both stand there for a few moments, warm and secure. Your hobbit backs up just enough to look at their friend again. They feel the joy of being together, the excitement of catching up, the comfort of knowing they can be completely themselves with this friend. Your hobbit reaches out again, pulls the friend back into a hug, and begins to dance around, still locked in the hug. They laugh, pull back to look at each other, hug and laugh again. No other thoughts intrude or distract. Life is simple and perfect in this moment. Take a moment to picture this reunion as the hobbits delight in one another.
Now see if you can emulate the hobbit's behavior. Picture a loved one that you haven't seen in awhile. Whether it's been weeks or years, you miss spending time with this person. Visualize them standing right in front of you, smiling and joyful to be here with you. What do you see in this moment? Are you focused on their face? Have they changed over time or do they look the same as always? Do you notice anything about their hair or clothes that makes you chuckle and think, "That's so...them?" Soak in all the visual cues that define this person for you. Then pay attention to your emotions. What feelings are vying for attention? Excitement? Relief? Love? Disbelief? Take a few moments now to continue playing out your own reunion, focusing on the physical and emotional sensations of this positive experience. Allow your actions to play out however you wish.

Next time you get together with loved ones, see if you can focus on these positive sensations, allowing any distractions to fade away so you can truly be in the moment.

Now you've practiced being mindful during 2 positive experiences. You're starting to train your brain to stay focused and present! Over the next few days, see if you can find other opportunities to practice this behavior. Remember you can always come back to this meditation to reinforce your learning.
It's time now to come back to the room you're in. Stretch out your arms and legs. Give yourself a little shake. When you're ready, open your eyes.

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from Meditations for Geeks, released January 31, 2019

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Rhiannon's Lark Troy, New York

Rhiannon's Lark was created by Alyssa Yeager (sensual vocals, growly guitar, candy-coated ukulele) to express the reality of life as a geek, goddess, and girl. She brings gaming, fantasy, morality, and t-rexes together into a show that will comfort your ears, get you laughing, and possibly even make you think. ... more

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