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The Great Unwind

In this session, we’ll discuss why so many of us are completely wound up and the key practice to begin to unwind. Choose meditation duration:

Hey there. Welcome to the Mindfulness.com 2022 Un-challenge. My name is Cory Muscara, and I'll be guiding you through this series. The theme of this series is going to be permission to be human, permission to be you. And each day for seven days, you'll get a short video like this and a corresponding meditation, all with the intention to help you reconnect, slow down, develop more self-acceptance and really get back into alignment with yourself.

We can get so out of alignment when we're caught up in the buzzing of our day-to-day, constantly trying to improve ourselves, better ourselves, get someplace else. And while that's all well and good, and well-intentioned, it can often wind us up. And that's going to be the focus of our first day today. What does it really take to start unwinding some of this deep seated tension that can accumulate over days, months, years, and sometimes even decades? Well, I'll start by saying to unwind our deepest tension requires the deepest stillness. To unwind our deepest tension requires the deepest stillness, and I'm not just talking about stillness of body, although that can help.

I'm referring more to stillness of being, that place within you that is able to observe what is happening without making it right or wrong, having to do something about it, improve it, fix it. That's the usual way we go about our lives. We experience something and we immediately put it in a category of, oh, this is, this is a good feeling and this is a bad feeling. And based on that, we either cling to the experience or push away the experience. That cycle of pushing-pulling, pushing-pulling, pushing-pulling is exhausting.

I do that when I go to the gym, but I don't go to the gym for 24 hours a day, the body would break down. And yet, if you look at how the mind is relating to our moment to moment experience, it's often this cycle of push-pull, push-pull, push-pull. And even when we go about our personal development, you'll often see that there's this intention of pushing against our experience. Even our relaxation strategies, it's like, all right, had a long day. Now I need to force myself to relax.

What do I do? Sit down. Good posture. Deep inhale. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale..

And can you just see how that might actually reinforce the very mechanisms of mind that are causing you to want to relax or unwind in the first place? That part of you that constantly needs to be better or get somewhere else or do something. It's what Bob Sharples calls the subtle aggression of self-improvement, where we're constantly trying to be someplace else than where we are or be someone else other than who we are that, while well-intentioned again, can actually leave us feeling burnt out and worse than we were before. And the claim we're going to make here is that often you need to get out of alignment with the rest of the world in order to get back into alignment with yourself. And that involves connecting to that place within you that actually is spacious enough to hold all aspects of who you are without needing to fix, change, or do something about it. We're going to dive into that today in our meditation practice so that you really have an opportunity to connect to what that's pointing to, because it's one thing to think about it.

It's another thing to actually be in it. So we'll go into that more in a moment, but as you do go about your day, I just want you to notice all of the ways that you find yourself pushing against experience, your internal experience, or grasping at experiences. And what would it be like to just take a breath? And just say, "Can I just be in this moment as it is without immediately needing to make it different?" It might be a radical shift, but that's kind of what we're doing here. The whole idea of an un-challenge is a bit against the status quo. And let's see how it goes for the seven days.

You might be surprised what happens on the other side. So it's great to be here with you. Let's settle in together for today's first meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

The Great Unwind

In this session, we’ll discuss why so many of us are completely wound up and the key practice to begin to unwind. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey there. Welcome to the Mindfulness.com 2022 Un-challenge. My name is Cory Muscara, and I'll be guiding you through this series. The theme of this series is going to be permission to be human, permission to be you. And each day for seven days, you'll get a short video like this and a corresponding meditation, all with the intention to help you reconnect, slow down, develop more self-acceptance and really get back into alignment with yourself.

We can get so out of alignment when we're caught up in the buzzing of our day-to-day, constantly trying to improve ourselves, better ourselves, get someplace else. And while that's all well and good, and well-intentioned, it can often wind us up. And that's going to be the focus of our first day today. What does it really take to start unwinding some of this deep seated tension that can accumulate over days, months, years, and sometimes even decades? Well, I'll start by saying to unwind our deepest tension requires the deepest stillness. To unwind our deepest tension requires the deepest stillness, and I'm not just talking about stillness of body, although that can help.

I'm referring more to stillness of being, that place within you that is able to observe what is happening without making it right or wrong, having to do something about it, improve it, fix it. That's the usual way we go about our lives. We experience something and we immediately put it in a category of, oh, this is, this is a good feeling and this is a bad feeling. And based on that, we either cling to the experience or push away the experience. That cycle of pushing-pulling, pushing-pulling, pushing-pulling is exhausting.

I do that when I go to the gym, but I don't go to the gym for 24 hours a day, the body would break down. And yet, if you look at how the mind is relating to our moment to moment experience, it's often this cycle of push-pull, push-pull, push-pull. And even when we go about our personal development, you'll often see that there's this intention of pushing against our experience. Even our relaxation strategies, it's like, all right, had a long day. Now I need to force myself to relax.

What do I do? Sit down. Good posture. Deep inhale. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale..

And can you just see how that might actually reinforce the very mechanisms of mind that are causing you to want to relax or unwind in the first place? That part of you that constantly needs to be better or get somewhere else or do something. It's what Bob Sharples calls the subtle aggression of self-improvement, where we're constantly trying to be someplace else than where we are or be someone else other than who we are that, while well-intentioned again, can actually leave us feeling burnt out and worse than we were before. And the claim we're going to make here is that often you need to get out of alignment with the rest of the world in order to get back into alignment with yourself. And that involves connecting to that place within you that actually is spacious enough to hold all aspects of who you are without needing to fix, change, or do something about it. We're going to dive into that today in our meditation practice so that you really have an opportunity to connect to what that's pointing to, because it's one thing to think about it.

It's another thing to actually be in it. So we'll go into that more in a moment, but as you do go about your day, I just want you to notice all of the ways that you find yourself pushing against experience, your internal experience, or grasping at experiences. And what would it be like to just take a breath? And just say, "Can I just be in this moment as it is without immediately needing to make it different?" It might be a radical shift, but that's kind of what we're doing here. The whole idea of an un-challenge is a bit against the status quo. And let's see how it goes for the seven days.

You might be surprised what happens on the other side. So it's great to be here with you. Let's settle in together for today's first meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

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