Transness.org

Exploring Gender Identity

Mindful Living

on April 30, 2010

Transitions can be intense and very challenging of all our faculties.  Just like any threatening event our fight or flight defense mechanism kicks in and our body is pumped up with adrenaline and endorphins. Our mind interprets the changes we are experiencing as a threat whether it is one or not.  This feeling to most people feels good and so we get caught up in drama.

Being alert is one thing, but being aware is very different.  Alertness is an animal instinct that often turns on all by itself to protect the body.  Awareness though is different in that it is a cognitive process and a conscious choice.  While it is a good thing to have our animal instincts protecting us, they can sometimes get us into trouble by reacting to situations that are ultimately non-threatening.  We get around this situation by being mindful of what is happening in our lives at all times. 

Mindfulness is the state of being totally aware.  It is an act of presence and being present in the here/now.  The Buddhists teach a technique called mindfulness practice which I find helpful.  Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold for a count of ten, then release slowly to a count of ten through the mouth.  While you are doing this, be aware of your body, how the air feels moving, the chair you are sitting on, is it soft or hard?  Be aware of the lighting, the temp, and all of your surroundings.  Do this in a calm detached fashion sort of like slow motion. 

With practice this technique will enhance your experience of life and also make you calmer.  The transgender person has many challenges and changes in their lives, however it does not mean that you have to be at the mercy of the life around you.  If we embrace the challenges in our life they work to force us into a state of mindfulness. 

This is where transgender or any challenge that is always with us, often this means physical, can be a great tool in mindfulness practice.  Make your life’s ups and downs into an asset by being aware and present in the moment as often as you can.  They call this mindfulness practice for a reason.  It takes time to develop this skill, but when you do, the rewards are indeed vast. 

I believe that this is part of the transformation process and a good reason why anyone would choose difficulty in their life.  The payoff is an enlightened mind, when fully utilized.  So embrace your transition and stay aware – feel your feelings and emotions.  Your life is a gift from you.

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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