Worth Living Ambassador Ruairi McEnroe
My name is Ruairi McEnroe, an ultra-runner from Ireland.
My mindfulness journey started in early 2015 after having watched my wife benefit from the practice. Anxiety had cropped up in my life and something needed to change. I started meditating using the Insight Timer app and joined the wonderful online community. I also wanted to understand my practice so I completed an eight week MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) class.
What I got out of it was that I have the necessary tools to stay in the present, whatever way I am feeling. I am more focused and see things a little clearer. When I am out having dinner, I am able to enjoy the meal fully instead of thinking where I need to be next or where I must go. Think of the possibilities here and how this could benefit your situation. I have completed some silent retreats and practice daily. It has helped me with running in a big way.
There are inevitable disappointments and it helped me realize that it is okay to have these emotions and sensations but if anyone can practice mindfulness in a few easy steps, there is no better place to go or state to be achieved.
Find a quiet space and time to be by yourself. This only takes a few minutes.
Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes if you feel okay otherwise find a spot to focus on.
Observe what is going on, paying attention to what is happening in the body, without judgment.
The mind will wander, this is what minds do. When you notice this happen, just acknowledge and move on. Use your breath as an ‘anchor’, feel the rising and falling of the belly.
Instead of fighting them, invite them in. Say, ‘I am here’ and welcome what is there, good and bad.
Be kind to yourself, don’t be bothered if you get distracted by your thoughts, take a deep breath, following it through the nose and out the mouth. Notice when your mind has wandered to and bring it back by focusing on your breath.
That’s it! The important part is to keep doing this practice regularly, three times a day is effective.