Sometimes I Don’t Brush My Teeth

It’s okay, we’re all perfectly imperfect.

I was facilitating a discussion in one of my Mindful Foundations courses about our personal challenges and successes relating to doing a formal meditation practice. I shared my own successes, then noted my challenge was that I had skipped 2 practices. One of the participants said she was surprised that I would have missed doing a practice; she said “So, you’re human?” and I said, “I absolutely am human! Sometimes I miss a meditation practice, sometimes I skip brushing my teeth before bed; and, I’m okay with that.”

Just to be clear, I make a daily effort to carve out time for a formal meditation – and to brush my teeth. These are rituals that I think contribute to my physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. With that said, there are times when I have one of “those days” and before I know it, my body is exhausted and just wants to sleep. In those moments, I choose to take deep mindful breaths and I do a body scan as my head hits the pillow and I feel wonderfully grateful.

The conversation in that class was timely because it fed into our lesson on the 8 mindful attitudes, which are covered in most mindfulness courses. The 8 mindful attitudes are:

Kindness                             Trust                                                   Acceptance                                       Patience

Beginner’s Mind               Non-judgement                               Non-striving                                      Letting Go

I invite you to explore how you can embody one, or more, of these attitudes this month. For example, can you be more patient towards someone whose behaviour is challenging you? Can you trust yourself more in knowing that you can handle your life and that you have the right support? Are you able to accept situations that are out of your control and place attention on what you can control?

All too often we get caught up in our daily to-do list and our life becomes a cycle of just pushing through on auto-pilot. The 8 mindful attitudes are reminders for us to pay attention, to be present to the moment, and to soften a bit by being more compassionate towards our self and others.

Observing and accepting my own imperfections has been one of the best things I’ve done for myself, and because I accept myself, I’ve noticed I’m more able to accept others and this has enriched my personal and professional relationships.

I have yet to come across any research study that indicates rigidity leads to positive outcomes; but I’ve come across several research studies that indicate those who are overall happier and more compassionate, are all around healthier. And, they can live longer! Here’s a link to one study.

For more insights on relationships, check out my monthly announcements below.

In loving kindness,

Amber McAuley