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“Przekrój” Magazine brings English-speaking readers some of the best journalism from across Central and Eastern Europe, in the fields of wellbeing, art, literature, science, ecology, philosophy, psychology, and more. Take a break from the speed and intensity of the daily news and join us!

Calm your mind, focus on yourself, and organize your emotions with these simple exercises for mental ...
2022-08-10 14:00:00
healthy living

Three Summer Mindfulness Practices

Illustration by Karyna Piwowarska
Three Summer Mindfulness Practices
Three Summer Mindfulness Practices
Read in 2 minutes

Think of Yourself

  1. Discipline doesn’t usually have positive connotations. What would happen, though, if it was concerned with listening to yourself and being open to your needs? Pause at this question for a moment.
  2. Imagine a periodical practice of gentle but decisive listening to your inner voice. Right now is one of these moments when you can pay attention to yourself.
  3. Ask yourself some basic questions: What am I feeling? How is my body? What is going on in my thoughts?
  4. Consider what kind of listening discipline would be appropriate for you. If you feel a strong tension, you can remind yourself in a disciplined way to relax for a while. If you are a person who struggles with procrastination, remember that every little step brings you closer to completing a task. If you are a person who is trying to be more assertive, you can exercise the discipline of saying mindful words that remind you of freedom of choice, etc.
  5. Don’t forget, though, to use discipline in a friendly way. As a good friend to yourself, you should not only cuddle up to and pat yourself on the back when necessary, but also discipline yourself, if what you’re doing isn’t serving you. Indulgence in bad habits is far removed from love and caring. Harness discipline to work to your benefit. 

The Elements of the Earth

  1. Imagine a place on Earth where all elements are present: fire, water, earth, and air. What is it like? How does it smell? What does it look like? What sounds are there? What taste does it bring to mind?
  2. In this place, all the elements meet and act together. Feel their power. After you’ve experienced the energy of this place, realize that it doesn’t only exist in your imagination—it’s your body. In it, all the elements coexist. Despite their differences, they function in perfect harmony.
  3. Let yourself feel the power in you. Your body and this imagined place have the same energy.

A Dream Dreamt to the End

  1. Think of a recurrent dream, or a dream theme. If nothing comes to mind, think of feelings that come back to you, which you cannot forget. For example, sometimes I recall the grudge against my parents, which I carry within me, or I experience loneliness, or go back to happy moments of my childhood; when I rolled down a hill.
  2. Select one dream, a dream theme, or a feeling.
  3. Pay attention to what remains unfinished in this recurring sensation. What is unsaid, or incomplete? How can this experience be completed? If at that moment you feel that nothing is lacking, accept that something is missing after all, because otherwise it wouldn’t be coming back to you. Experiment.
  4. Then imagine a stroke of luck: whatever is unfinished, what was incomplete, comes to completion.
  5. Recognize what it is and notice what influence it has on you. What are the consequences of this conclusion?

Translated from the Polish by Irena Kretowicz

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