“Living in the moment is so important Mom and I’m trying my absolute hardest to live in each moment.

There’s one thing I want to talk about that is helping me so much. Meditation, and that time you took me to restorative yoga. That experience is changing my life. I always try to meditate and it helps a ton but the thing that is life changing was the feeling I had walking out of that yoga studio that day. I know that the spirit told you to invite me because I think about that experience every single day. That was the most peace and calmness I’ve ever felt. Just taking each step one by one back to the car, completely living in the moment. Mom please, I’m begging you, teach this skill to as many people as you can. It’s changed my life. I now know how to connect my mind and body, to get out of my mind. My mind is an extremely dangerous place. I have extreme anxiety and I know that with this skill I can get through my anxiety on this mission. It gives me so much peace that I literally know how to change my thinking process and muscle memory of my brain.

Mom when I can live in the moment I can feel there is peace in Christ. If there is one thing I’ve learned on this mission it is this.

“There is peace in Christ”

It has taken a ton of pain and torment for me to realize this. I’m grateful I know this. I’m leaving it to the lord.”

This is a paragraph from my dear son, Levi, who is serving a mission in Honduras. He has been there for three weeks. He is in a foreign country, in the jungle, he is not yet fluent in Spanish and no one around him speaks English, not even his companion. His living circumstances are far different than what we know to be normal here in the US, there is not running water and his body is reacting to the differences in food. As he has had every comfort of home stripped from him, including his family and even his ability to communicate, he has been provided with a perfect opportunity to learn what is truly important and how to find peace.

I cannot tell you how excited and thrilled I was to receive this email from Levi. You know that moment when you realize that your child was actually listening when you were trying to teach them valuable lessons and because of their snarky reply… “ok Mom!! got it”… you assume they aren’t listening and don’t care? Well he WAS listening!

We are all placed in life circumstances that provide opportunities to learn. When in these places of learning, we have two choices… we can either be bitter, fill ourselves with fear, anger, resentment and discouragement, or we can discover coping mechanisms that enable us to learn, grow and develop into the best and higher version of our self.

Life has presented many valuable lessons to me. I have struggled and tried every means of coping throughout my life. I have always believed and felt that what Levi stated is true… There IS peace in Christ. However, when you are in the midst of a raging storm it is not always obvious exactly HOW to find peace in Christ. Because our minds, bodies and spirits are so closely connected, if one of these pieces is out of alignment or in a state of fear, it is very difficult to settle our selves enough to utilize the peace Christ offers.

I have taught yoga for ten years but it has only been in the last year and a half that I have discovered the mindfulness aspect of it, which has taught me exactly HOW to unite the mind, body and spirit, to become whole and reside inside my body, which allows me the ability to quiet my frantic mind, calm my troubled heart, and FEEL peace that ultimately comes from Christ through the means of aligning myself with Him through meditation, through living in each moment, and through staying present in my body… as Levi suggested.

It sounds too simple doesn’t it. It sounds ridiculously simple and something such as anxiety, stress, disease, fear and turmoil is far too complex to be resolved through something as simple as meditation or mindfulness…. Isn’t it? Humbly I will suggest that it is not…. meditation, mindfulness, presence, self awareness, living in the moment…. has been the door and the hallway that has saved my life and has helped me to cope and find peace through life’s storms. It has also helped me to understand my relationships with others as well as how to ethically communicate, know who I am, and trust myself. Mindfulness ultimately has helped me realize how very little I can control and how to turn the rest over to the Savior, and find peace in Him.

Because I am so passionate about this and because I have felt repeated very strong impressions to do so, I am trusting myself and believing that when I come to the edge of all that I know I will be given something solid to stand on or taught to fly. As part of my mindfulness practice, I am recording my life lessons and experiences on this blog. I am also opening a yoga and mindfulness studio in my home. I have turned my basement into a serene sanctuary where I will offer all I have been taught and the gifts I have been given to spread this tool and coping mechanism to all who desire it.

With so much chaos, confusion, conflict, and turmoil in this world of constant storms, my heart and soul long to share what I’ve learned with others who are searching for better ways to cope.

I’ve discovered, as I have practiced living in the moment, my mind is free of the need to control and hold onto fear, which is found in our thoughts when we dwell too much on the future. I’ve been learning how to surrender and relax, to talk to myself kindly, to feel truth in my body and trust myself. I’ve discovered how to love myself, which causes me to treat myself kindly… resulting in letting go of addiction and the need to check out. I’m learning that I only need approval from myself and God rather than the approval of others. I’m beginning to discover who I am. I’m learning to slow down and speak from my heart and to live from a place of love rather than fear. I’ve notice when I do this that life begins to flow in a space of abundance rather than scarcity. I’ve learned that feeling each emotion is okay and that it will pass, that we are not a physical being here to have a spiritual experience, but rather we are a spiritual being here to have a physical experience.

Through mindfulness I’ve learned how important it is to be present and to truly listen when others speak rather than thinking about what I will say next. I’m learning how to hold space for others and “provide support” while they utilize their life experiences to learn and grow rather than “taking care of” and protecting them from their feelings, which removes the valuable life lessons they will learn if I don’t get out of the way.

Obviously I am far from mastering these valuable tools, in fact I still find myself worrying about what others think, beating myself up, and speaking unkindly to myself. Mindfulness is a lifelong journey and pursuit, and gradually, with patience and compassion of self, I hope to continually and eternally become all I was intended to be. I’ve realized I am learning line upon line and without knowing exactly when it occurred I have observed that I have learned to embrace adversity and face into the storms of life with courage as I continually practice staying present with myself. I’ve noticed it’s easier for me to align myself with God and I am finally able to FEEL Peace in Christ.