“Mindfulness and Halloween” written by Bren Koger.
What is mindfulness and what are the benefits?
Mindfulness teacher and author Jon Kabat-Zin calls it “The art of paying attention on purpose without judgment to the present moment.”
It means to be here, now without making judgment or decisions.
Halloween and Me
What does this have to do with Halloween?
I LOVE Halloween. It’s one of my favorite holidays and I usually love to plan and prepare my costume down to the very last detail, but I had a situation happen today that forced me to take a look at my mindfulness practice during this time and I realized many of my thoughts have been about planning (future) and dwelling in the past instead of enjoying this beautiful time.
My Halloween Costumes
Did I mention how much I love Halloween? I always go all out with my costumes, spending weeks planning and preparing. Here are a few of my costumes from the past few years..
This year, as usual, I obsess about my costume for weeks and have had a lot of fun designing a Vegas show girl costume for a masquerade ball for charity.
Obsessed With This Year’s Costume
I find myself spending long times lost in thought at the gym during my spinning class or while I’m driving I don’t even know If the traffic lights are red or green half the time and how I got from point A to point B I’m so lost in thought.
Today I stopped at our local costume shop to look for ostrich feathers for my Vegas Showgirl headdress and found myself in the glitter isle. What’s a Vegas show girl without glitter, right?
I wasn’t sure if the liquid glitter on the shelf was going to work for my makeup so I tried a dab on my hand to check when the lady from the store came up behind me and said we have samples of that (which weren’t there) so I’m doing to have to ask you to buy that item!
It really was unexpected and shocked me so I apologized and scuttled up to the counter feeling like I was in grade school and was just reprimanded by the teacher for playing with a bottle of glitter.
I spent the rest of the afternoon replaying this incident in my head and judging myself and this woman.
Why did I try in on? It was thoughtless of me.
Why was she so rude and speak to me in that tone?
And on and on until I realized what I was doing and brought myself back to the present moment.
Back to the Present Moment in Mindfulness
Nicholas Gordon: “Halloween wraps fear in innocence, as though it were a slightly sour sweet. Let terror, then, be turned into a treat.”
Haloween is a time where we celebrate scary things. We bring out into the light of day the things normally we would be afraid of or keep hidden. Things like spiders and cobwebs and ghosts and witches are made innocent and cute.
It’s a perfect time to be reminded to bring out into the light of day those things we judge as creepy or scary about ourselves and others. Bring them out into the light and see them for what they are. It will bring a kind of innocence to everything.
When I mindfully looked at what I was doing by judging myself or the lady at the costume store it brought in some space. I could observe how my body was feeling. Where I felt tense in my chest and tight in my shoulders. I took some conscious breaths and noticed my surroundings I came back into the present moment and smiled at the silliness of it all.
Tips for Mindfulness
Here are my tips for a mindful Halloween:
- Be fully present
- Acknowledge and accept every thought and feeling and situation
- Notice your body sensations and surroundings
Make any changes or decision from the space of mindfulness.
Get out of the goblin mind full of thoughts which are about either the future or the past. It could be a conversation you had (past) Or planning your (future.)
This will lead to more.
Compassion and understanding which ultimately leads to happiness.
If you need more time, take it. Feel your feeling fully and practice this Halloween meditation by Glen Whitney
Breathing in: The wind is blowing
Breathing out: The leaves are falling
Breathing in: All is changing
Breathing out: All is shifting
Breathing in: The leaves wind is blowing Breathing out: The leaves are falling
Breathing in: All is dying
Breathing out: All is growing
Breathing in: The days are shorter
Breathing out: The nights are longer
Breathing in: The season’s changing
Breathing out: The world’s still turning
By Glen Whitney
Final Words About Mindfulness and Halloween
Take the time and make the decision to get to a state of mindfulness. Focus on the present so you can move towards your future.
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