Reply To: Week 3 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Kelly West

Soft Belly Meditation:
I found this meditation to be effective at relaxing my body. Previous to sitting down to complete this weeks training, I had been doing errands and in general doing a lot of thinking and planning around the things I needed to do with a busy mind. This meditation caused me to notice that my body was tense from rushing around so much and helped to relax my body which in turn helped my mind to stop racing. I really like the phrase “soft belly” just repeating hit seems to induce a more relaxed calm state.

May I accept myself completely, as I am right now meditation:
This meditation I found a bit more challenging because it seemed to result in some judgmental thinking; my thoughts wandered to the things that I may have trouble accepting about myself. However, as I started repeating the phrase I started to have a bit more empathy and compassion for myself. The things that came to mind that fell into the “hard to accept” category are just things that make me human and I know other’s struggle with as well and I would not judge others as harshly as I am judging myself. I think this thought process was important to go through and by the end I was more present focused and accepting of the way things are and seeing the futility of wishing for anything different.

I think both of these meditations could be helpful in work with clients. Soft belly reminds me a bit of the focusing on one object meditation in that the phrase is very simple and it seems like this could be done in a moment of difficulty to support more awareness of sensation and thought.
The second one I think could be helpful in creating a less critical inner voice. I can see how knowing a person’s avoidance responses would be important because for me my inner critic was very present at the outset but did get quieter as I progressed through the mediation. I think this one would take practice and processing as well to know what is coming up for the client while practicing this meditation; it could give greater insight for both the therapist and the client into their avoidance patterns as well.