Mindfulness: Week 7 – Learning to Dance Again

John relaxing in Mundy Park

John relaxing in Mundy Park

So when did you stop dancing? When was the last time that you were able to completely cast aside any regrets from the past and concerns for the future and simply enjoy spending some time in the present moment?

Over the past 2½ years since my accident and head injury, I have made good progress in resolving many issues by focusing on my self-managed rehabilitation work.

However, I know that I have been spending too much time thinking about past troubles and future concerns.

Having now completed week seven of my eight-week mindfulness course, I feel quite sure that my meditation practice will enable me to spend more time in the present moment enjoying life with my family and friends.

Coming to this realization this past week was quite a thrill.

Working through the Mindfulness book this past week has given me a wealth of information, ideas, perspectives and some interesting exercises.

During one such exercise, I was first invited to make a list of the activities that regularly do in a typical day. Then I was asked to think about each activity and decide whether they nourished or depleted me.

Surprisingly, most of my daily activities are nourishing. Even those seemingly mundane activities, such as loading and unloading the dishwasher and doing the laundry have now become nourishing.

Como Lake

Como Lake Loop

Since adopting my new meditation practice, my mundane activities are now opportunities to practice being mindful!

Even my running, which I have always found to be fulfilling, has become more nourishing, since I am now doing mediations during and after my daily runs.

Week seven also included three meditations to be done on six of the seven days of the week.

This week, instead of being given specific meditations, I was asked to tailor my daily practice by first choosing two meditations from past weeks:

– First, a meditation that I was comfortable with or had not come to grips with.

– Second, a meditation that nourished me and made feel good about the world.

I would then finish each daily practice with “The Three-Minute Breathing Space” meditation

Here’s the daily meditation practice that I put together:

– First I chose to do “Exploring Difficulty” for my first meditation, which I always find challenging.

– Then for my second, I decided that the “Befriending’ meditation would nourished me greatly.

After the first two meditations, I finished  with “The Three Minute Breathing Space” as instructed.

My daily meditations this past week were actually extremely hard work, especially the “Exploring Difficulty” meditation. However, my meditative experience along with the “daily activities” exercise has emphasized the need to monitor my daily activities and make sure that I am nurturing myself.

Diana's garden

Diana’s garden – the pride of our neighbourhood

I also know that mindfulness meditation will be an integral part of my life for the future.

As for dancing, my mindfulness meditation this past week has encouraged me to start over and now would seem a good time to start over. My wife Marjory is my perfect dance partner, although she often reminds me that she prefers to lead.

We’ll probably start with a waltz and slowly work our way up.

Finally, you should try the “activities” exercise yourself and see how your daily activities are either nourishing or depleting your life. You may also discover ways to bring more nourishment and fulfillment into your lives.

As always, I wish to thank Professor Mark Williams and Dr. Danny Penman for writing the amazing book that inspired me to take this pivotal eight-week Mindfulness journey.

You can find out more about their book “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” at http://www.franticworld.com.

I look forward to starting “Week 8 – Your Wild and Precious Life”, my final blog for this Mindfulness series, on Sunday and then, as always, sharing my experiences with you in my blog.



UVic colour - horizontal -NO Centre-crest on lhs

John Murphy is a volunteer Program Leader with the University of Victoria’s Centre on Aging, based in Ladner, BC. He currently facilitates their 6 week Chronic Pain Self-Management workshops (2½ hour per week) available free of charge across BC, to adults and caregivers who are dealing with chronic pain.

For more information on our Chronic Pain Self-Management workshop and other free of charge workshops, follow this link to our website:


Other Self-Management workshop and programs include:

– Arthritis and Fibromyalgia

– Chronic Disease

– Diabetes



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