Sometimes I Don’t Brush My Teeth

I facilitated a discussion in one of my Mindful Foundations courses about personal challenges and successes relating to doing a formal meditation practice. I noted my challenge was that I had skipped 2 practices and one participant said she was surprised that I would ever miss doing a practice.

She said “So, you’re human?” and I said, “I absolutely am human! Sometimes I miss a meditation practice, and sometimes I skip brushing my teeth before bed; and, I’m okay with that.”

To be clear, I make a daily effort to carve out time for a formal meditation practice – and to brush my teeth. These are rituals that I think contribute to my physical, emotional, and mental well-being. With that said, sometimes 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, I do a body scan as my head hits the pillow, and I feel grateful for the bed I have to sleep in.

I was glad that student spoke up; it 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:

  1.  Kindness
  2. Trust
  3. Acceptance
  4. Patience
  5. Beginner’s Mind
  6. Non-judgement
  7. Non-striving
  8. 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 that you can handle your life and that you have the right support? Are you able to accept situations which 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 upcoming course schedule here.

In loving kindness,

Amber McAuley