Learning To Practice Mindfulness.

This was my view this morning, after I rolled out of bed and sat on my hotel room deck...

I woke up (as usual, minutes before my alarm went off) at about 7am. I rolled out of bed and went out to my deck and spent the next half hour meditating.

This is a habit that I had wanted to adopt for many years... Going back to probably 2007. The idea, for me, was to find a way to process and release thoughts running through my mind the moment I woke up for the day.

Whatever is in the mind first thing in the morning needs to not drive your whole day. Whether it's positive or negative, you should allow yourself openness as you begin your day.

It's not easy. Like I said, I originally started on the path to spend a few minutes each morning meditating year ago. And I failed at it. I was very self conscious. Plus, it was just easier to spend the time lying in bed, catching a few minutes of sleep more. But the experience in the Amazon back in the earlier part of this year helped me open up to this habit of meditation.

I remember waking up each morning in the mosquito net "box" I was sleeping inside of and thinking, "Let's continue to purge the mind, Heather."

After spending a few hours the previous night, in my rocking chair, listening to the medicine songs of the shamans and becoming more aware of the energy around me, I understood how important it was to begin to release and continue to "purge" mentally what was going on in my mind.

It wasn't easy. But I can now sit for about 30 minutes most mornings, with my eyes closed, and let the thoughts just roll in and out of my brain. The idea is to be aware of what is coming in, and then simply let move out. Afterwards, I have a relaxed energy about me. And I move from activity to activity feeling calm about my intention.

There are days, like a few weeks ago, where I should have spent more time meditating in the morning, as I was anxious and carrying around more negative energy. But I either didn't meditate long enough (maybe about 10 minutes, because I couldn't close off my mind), or I didn't do it all.

So it's always a work in progress. And it remains a continuous goal... To spend the first moments of each day being aware and gentle with myself, no matter my circumstances.