The quiet of winter leaves so much space for truth, but are we prepared for Kwayesh chi totamik (Honesty) even with ourselves? Traditionally, Metis people highly valued honesty. Parents were taught to serve as role models for honest behaviour. Other peoples’ boundaries and possessions were always respected. Stealing was a rare offense in traditional communities, and if it happened there were very serious consequences. But honesty isn’t just about our approach to the outside world. In fact, honesty begins internally, deep inside the understandings and value that we place on ourselves.
Silence is the best tool we have to re-connect to our own thoughts and beliefs. Try this short exercise to give yourself the space you need to find your thoughts, then let them flow as if floating on a river.
- Find a place you can sit quietly undisturbed for a few minutes. You could be seated on a chair or on the floor on a cushion. Keep your back upright, but relaxed. Hands resting wherever they’re comfortable.
- Take a few moments to connect with your body. Try to notice the shape of your body, its weight. Let yourself relax and become curious about the sensations it experiences, the touch, the connection with the floor or the chair. Relax any areas of tension. Just breathe.
- Notice your breath. Feel the natural flow of breath—in, out. You don’t need to do anything to your breath. Not long, not short, just natural. Notice where you feel your breath in your body. It might be in your abdomen. It may be in your chest or throat or in your nostrils. See if you can feel the sensations of breath, one breath at a time. When one breath ends, the next breath begins.
- Be kind to your wandering mind. You may get drawn in by various thoughts, know that they will be there later and consciously let them go. Each time you get pulled away, gently acknowledge the thought and then return it to the river.
- Stay here for five to seven minutes. Notice your breath, in silence. From time to time, you’ll get lost in thought, then return to your breath.
- Check in before you check out. After a few minutes, once again notice your body, your whole body, seated here. Let yourself relax even more deeply and then offer yourself some appreciation for doing this practice today.
Today’s photo courtesy of Canva PRO
This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.