Mindfulness Practice – Day 4

Day 4 – Grace – Witness

InterPlay (developed by Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter), uses principles and practices that help to unlock the wisdom that is within each one of us.

Use the picture of the Grace card from The InterPlay Inspiration Deck as you:

Look at the symbol, does it speak to you?

Look at the color, does that create a response in your mind or your body?

Let’s learn about what InterPlay says about the principle of, Grace.

Day 4 – Grace and Witness

Mindfulness Practice 1

Grace– Grace is the experience of ease, calm, and peace. It is the opposite of stress. InterPlay teaches that Grace has physicality and helps us notice what creates flow in our lives. We look for a feeling of timelessness, of being in what some call, ‘the zone’ when we are engaged in activities that create a state of Grace. When we choose activities that create Grace, the stress in our lives is decreased.   The experience of Grace balances our bodies and gives us a greater sense of well-being and joy.

Vagus Nerve – The Vagus Nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It connects your brain to many important organs throughout the body, including the gut (intestines, stomach), heart, and lungs. It influences your breathing, digestive function, and heart rate, all of which can have a huge impact on your mental health. It is directly linked to your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). Good Vagal tone means you recover from stress more quickly.  Here are a few quick ways to increase Vagal tone:

  1. gargle
  2. sing as loud as you can
  3. belly laugh
  4. end your shower with 60 seconds of cold water
  5. deep breathing practices

Use the Day 4   Vagus nerve meditation to begin your practice today.

Listen to the explanation first.

Music by Native Flute Music

 

Mindfulness Practice 2

Use the picture of the Witness card from The InterPlay Inspiration Deck as you:

Look at the symbol, does it speak to you?

Look at the color, does that create a response in your mind or your body?

Let’s learn about what InterPlay says about the principle of, Witness.

witness front

Witness allows us to be an observer of ourselves and/or of another. Witnessing and being witnessed can give us new information and insight. This is partly because a witness provides a framework for what we are doing, helping us focus our intentions. When we witness someone else, (without interruption or a need to fix or change them) we have the opportunity to learn more about the other and about ourselves. When we can just watch, be present, and free of mental chatter, we are able to witness our actions, thoughts, feelings, etc.  This opens up the potential for change, inspiration, Grace, and Presence. We can begin to live more mindfully and have more peace and patience.

Today is already Day 4. Take a few moments to write down 3-5 things that you have experienced and noticed in the last few days of fasting and/ or of doing the mindfulness practices.

Call a friend, ask a work colleague, or sit face to face with someone (social distancing, of course!)you feel comfortable with and ask them to witness what you have written.

Ask them to just listen without comment. Invite them to just be a neutral witness to what you noticed and wrote down. When you are finished, close your eyes and take a deep breath in and let it out with a soft sigh. Open your eyes and tell them how it was to do that without having them say anything.

Thank them and if they want to share anything, Practice simply Witnessing them. Quiet in your mind and body. Experience what that is like – no need to comment, help, even add any of your own ‘wisdom’.

See you this evening.

 

Nighttime Practice

Take out your Pre- fast writing and look at question 4

(i.e. When I am at my best, I am relaxed, calm, present, focused, and enthusiastic.)

Take a moment to read your personal sentence to yourself. Now take a deep breath in and let it out with a sigh. Read your sentence two more times. Now close your eyes scan your body to see if you notice any sensations caused by reading your personal statement. What part of your body holds that feeling?

Identify that body part and feel the sensation that is present.  You are asked to do nothing but feel the sensation and practice staying with it; without trying to make it different, increase the feeling, or anything else that your mind might want to do.

Sometimes pleasant feelings and sensations are just as difficult to hold as unpleasant feelings and sensations. We are often surprised to find that we do not have a big capacity for joyful experiences.  Sometimes we even sabotage these good feeling states without realizing it because of thoughts and beliefs we hold.

Your answer to question 4 and your completion of Day 4 are important markers for your goals and intention. Spend a moment noticing how it was to complete Day 4.

Was it difficult? Easy? What do you notice happening in your body and mind?

Write down anything that feels important to you in your journal or on a piece of paper.

Also, spend a moment looking back to this morning and the notes on Grace.

Make a list of 3 things that are in your life now that put you in a state of Grace.

Example:

  1. Dancing
  2. Spending time with friends (even virtually!)
  3. Being in, on, or near water

Spend a moment noticing how it feels to write those down. What does a state of Grace feel like in your body?

Have you been doing enough of your ‘Grace making’ activities lately? If not, schedule at least one in the next several days.

 

Fall asleep with the stories of Grace and Witness (optional)

 

You are amazing! One more day to go!

Rest well. See you on Day 5

 

 

Resources and information:

http://www.interplay.org

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6189422/

https://upliftconnect.com/12-ways-unlock-powers-vagus-nerve/

https://blog.daveasprey.com/tone-vagus-nerve-hack-nervous-system/

https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/breathing-technique-calm-mental-focus-vagus-nerve-christopher-bergland.html