The journey to my intuition seemed like a thousand steps, and yet not a one.
One enchanted day I took an early morning run with my 9-year-old son. It was still dark, and the sky was filled with clouds. A full moon morning, with the light from the super moon pushing through in spots, to shine a bit of brightness on our path. As we ran he mused, and his words sparked a spot in my heart. He said, “I love stopping and admiring nature when we run.” I agreed, and we slowed to notice the tiny pink and orange tinges of sunrise lighting the clouds as the new dawn pushed up to replace the moonlight. In the next moment he added, “Sometimes when I am playing Xbox and the screen freezes, I sit and try to notice every color and everything about the picture. I love that.”
In that moment I realized the beautiful wisdom he offered as a gift. He shared the key to being mindful. Notice, Be Still, Admire. Then in that space you touch your natural state of peace and receive joy. This is the process of moving from mindful, intentional observation into a place of stillness; and in that stillness you become mindless as you let go of the ego mind chatter and become aware of the Divine.
When I was in my teens and early twenties I experienced extreme anxiety. l appeared confident, but underneath I was constantly trying to calm myself and pull my thoughts away from worry. My mind raced most hours of the day, and even into the night. In the wee morning hours I would watch the glow of the digital clock as it clicked through each number counting the hours, then minutes, that I would be able to sleep. I ran on adrenaline, couldn’t sit down to watch a movie, and described myself as a “Type A Personality.”
One day at the peak of my anxiety I walked into a yoga class at the local gym. I cannot claim any noble reasons for trying yoga. I was a ballet dancer who was no longer dancing due to entering a career as a social worker and therapist. All I wanted was to keep my dancer’s flexibility. After a few weeks of this routine, I began to notice that I was having more moments of calm. Situations that occupied my mind for days were letting go a little quicker, and I started to appreciate the art of shutting off my endless mind chatter. I connected this development to the meditation part of the yoga class, and I was intrigued.
I set off on an exploration to practice meditation. At first I thought I would just sit down, breathe, and instantly connect with my Divine Voice but, alas, that did not go as planned. Instead, I would sit down and close my eyes and my mind would start listing my stressors, my “failures,” my grocery list, my 10-year plan. With each attempt I failed to find a path back to that meditative state I experienced briefly on my yoga mat as I was guided in Savasana, the relaxation time at the end of the class.
As the Universe would have it, I stumbled upon Mindfulness Meditation, and things began to shift. When I discovered the world of mindfulness I knew I had hit the jackpot. Mindfulness was an obsessive thinker’s ticket to inner peace! The way I describe mindfulness to people now is to say, “Mindfulness is about putting your full mind on something.” What I realized back then was that I was putting my full mind and my full energy on my plans, my worries, my fears, my imagined shortcomings, my old wounds, my fresh wounds, and my mistakes.
When I began the practice of mindfulness, I went in full throttle. I tried mindful eating, focusing on the experience of each bite that entered my mouth. I tried mindful walking and noticed each step I took, what I felt, and how my body moved. I tried mindful sitting and observed each sensation, emotion, and subtle movement as I sat in one space. Then I moved to mantras and mala beads, repeating statements as I lovingly touched each of the 108 beads around the garland of wood and stone.
And a change occurred. I found that I was replacing my old worries with new repetitive statements and observations. It dawned on me that when I placed my full mind on things that were simple and positive and lovely I would go into a state of gratitude and respect for the beauty in our world: how a spider’s web was intricate art; how a beetle glistened with greens and blues when the sun hit its back; how I am miraculously made of atoms and cells and molecules that function seamlessly together. When I came to this awareness I became still—completely still inside, even if outside I appeared to be moving. I connected in that moment to extreme gratitude and trust in Divine Provision and Purpose.
At this still point all becomes silent and I can hear. Not so much a hearing with my ears, but with my heart and soul. From this place of stillness and gratitude I know that I am always guided by the Voice within. And in that moment of stillness, gratitude, and trust, I am mindless. No longer controlled by the Ego mind of illusion, but instead connected to my Intuitive Self, my Divine Mind. In that place of mindlessness there is no worry, there is no fear.
My greatest epiphanies and intuitive adventures have come from this still point, the transition from being mindful to letting go and finding myself mindless. Even so, I find that at times I still feel a tiny sense of worry or a washing over of fear. When I do I follow these steps:
- Notice and observe my feelings and thoughts and call them interesting. “I notice I feel _______, that’s interesting.”
- Release and forgive the feeling, myself, and anyone else involved. “I now choose to release this feeling and forgive myself, and anyone I think caused this feeling.”
- Clap my hands loudly and say “Be Here Now”.
- Look for something tangible to be grateful for in this moment. “I am so grateful for this sketchbook and pen so I can write down my thoughts…”
- Be grateful for this moment and ask for my next best step from a place of gratitude and peace.
- Listen and expect a Divine Answer.
- Act on any guidance that I receive in my mindless Still Point Space.
One of my favorite quotes is from Swami Kripalvananda. He says, “to perform every action artfully is yoga.” This is the practice of mindfulness that travels to the land of the mindless. Notice, Be Still, Admire in Gratitude, Become Mindless. In gratitude I receive my Divine Mind guidance that is always correct in my Now.
Victoria Hawkins, LCSW, RYT has been enjoying being a voice in the world of health and wellness for many years. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, adult and child yoga and Bellydance instructor, Meditation Teacher, public speaker, intuitive artist and author/illustrator. She specializes in fusing art, movement, wisdom teachings, and yogic practice with intuitive guidance to create a unique way of connecting individuals and groups to their own inner voice. She attributes her insights and epiphanies to her commitment to deep listening to nature, the wisdom of children, unexpected teachers and her own Spirit Voice within. Visit http://victoriahawkins.com/
This article is a chapter from the book Transform Your Life! written by 60 real-life heroes and experts and available at Amazon.com, BN.com, www.Transformation-Publishing.com and all ebook formats.