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Mindful : December 2018
ALONE WITH YOURSELF Go to a solitary place—out- doors in nature, a park or garden, or indoors in a quiet room. Settle yourself in a comfortable spot and let your body really rest into the sup- por t of what you are sitting (or standing) on. Now, first take a minute or so to notice what’s going on in your mind, then move your attention down into your body. Keep your eyes open with a relaxed gaze. Sense how it feels to be alone—you can say to yourself, “I’m all alone here.” Notice what sen- sations are present in your body—how does your body react to “all alone”? Sit for a while with what- ever sensations are there in your body. Notice thoughts that come, but let them go and gently return your attention to how it feels in your body—especially your throat, chest, solar plexus, and belly. Do you notice any constriction or jitteryness or heaviness, or some other inner sensation? Is there an emotional tex ture, like fear or anxiety or self-conscious- ness? Or perhaps a sense of ease and comfort? Be with whatever feeling is there, gently keeping it company with no judgment. Welcome uncomfortable feelings; try not to react to them but just notice them in a friendly way. Be mind- ful of thoughts that start to form but keep returning your attention to how it feels in your body. You are learning the art of solitude—simply being present for what is going on in your body and feelings without either sup- pressing those sensations or needing to interpret or do something about them. Being Alone, Two Ways Ifyoufindithardtobe alone, that’s OK! Here are two practices to help you find a sense of ease through keeping yourself company. PRACTICE PHOTOGRAPHSBYMAJATOPCAGIC/STOCKSYANDVISUALSPECTRUM/STOCKSY 52 mindful December 2018