These marionette hands are really my own: committing to a daily mindfulness challenge

My whole life I’ve been disconnected from my body (and described by others as “spaced out”). The way I see it, my actual “self” is located somewhere at the base of my skull, just above the back of my neck. Everything below that is kind of like a marionette that I operate rather awkwardly and absentmindedly when I remember to — while other times the marionette parts are left to their own devices, just swinging around and improvising . I’ve been living like this so long that I can’t even imagine what I might be missing by not being fully present in my body.

The demonstrated effectiveness of mindfulness practice for issues like these, as well as for other aspects of psychological well-being, is very persuasive. (I always teach my students about it.) But actually doing it isn’t so easy. Years ago, merely attempting meditation of any sort made me extremely anxious. When I’ve tried it in therapy more recently it was relatively peaceful, but I still haven’t been successful at getting myself to practice it on a regular basis.

So I’ve been inspired by Amanda Wang to embark on a daily mindfulness challenge, and encourage you to join us too. (Please see the link to her insightful and beautifully written blog below.) My personal commitment is to do a three-minute body scan exercise every day for the month of August. I’ll keep you posted and see how it goes from there….

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