This is a useful question to ask yourself. How are you feeling?
It’s an invitation to have a conversation with yourself.
A chance to go deeper within.
So how are you feeling?
Notice if a quick response trips off your tongue or your mind jumps to well-worn phrases.
This is a start! Yet it’s also a chance to explore more than those automatic phrases that disguise the real experience. Swings and roundabouts, walking through fire, fogginess, a dark cloud, signs of a rainbow ahead, light at the end of the tunnel.
As you sit in stillness, notice how things are with you with more perception:
Of course, these three aspects aren’t really separate, but it can be helpful to focus on each aspect, and then notice how they merge.
1 Mentally how are you feeling?
Or there might be a numbness so it’s difficult to identify anything.
And mental thoughts can also include quite prominent self-critical thoughts that run parallel to everything. The detrimental thoughts you carry about yourself. Not everyone has these, but I want to acknowledge them to those of you who do.
Settle in. Close your eyes.
2 Physically how are you feeling?
Yet stay with the stillness and connect more fully. Explore the tensions across your muscles and joints. Sweep your awareness down through the body, starting with your face – untighten your lips, soften your jaw, smooth that frown.
As you sweep your focus down across your neck, shoulders, chest, stomach and all around, keep being curious about your discoveries. Then down your hips, thighs, knees, ankles to your toes.
Relax into each area, noting the parts that are holding tension, tightness, tiredness.
You may even discover some more detail to the things you thought you already knew – a specific part of your body that is feeling not just tired but exhausted.
Or added aspects to your illness. For example, you may already know that you have a sore throat. But on closer exploration, you realise that your chest feels sore when you swallow and even your stomach has an extra tightness to it.
Then other things may arise alongside the physical aspects. You become aware that the tension you notice in your stomach is connected to a feeling of fear. Your legs are so tense that they feel unable to settle and it feels like uncertainty. A heaviness across your throat feels like powerlessness and vulnerability.
This brings you naturally to the third aspect.
3 Emotionally how are you feeling?
You may notice that you feel tender and vulnerable. That you feel like crying. All those physical experiences you have named are connected with the emotions you are feeling.
You are not alone in feeling a whirlpool of emotions. It’s very normal at such a unique time as this. Allow it all to be there. Let your heart open to it all.
And as you sit with your body and your breathing, notice the strong calm that lives at your centre.
It is there. Beneath all the turmoil.
This is the place to connect in with. To notice that discomfort, tiredness, uncertainty, fear; they will all move on. You have the capacity and the choice, to deeply centre yourself and draw on your inner power.
Let yourself sit with this for as long as you wish. Like refreshing yourself with cool water after a long walk. Your mindful stillness is a means of replenishing yourself.
Pick up on more positive feelings – within your heart there is hope, positivity and joy. Focus on these states as though you are nourishing yourself with them.
Following your moments of stillness, awareness and positive nourishment, however long you wish to stay here, ask again,
How are you feeling?
Even if nothing seems to have changed, at the very least, you are more aware and present.
Now you can move on with more balance, calm and wellbeing.
Further blog posts:
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Guide