Monthly Columns

Mindful Living: A Connection of Mind, Body and Spirit

The wheel of the year turns to Samhain. Days are cooler, nights cooler still. What leaves are left are either evergreens or late fall colors. The smell of coolness and decaying earth sits on the breeze signaling a change in weather and pace of living. Cooler days seem to signal our bodies and minds to go at a slower pace, yet modern times have fall and Winter busier times of the year. Mindful living doesn’t have to be complicated. It is about being aware of the moments you are in and connecting to your authentic self. When you are connected to yourself then you can create a life that you truly enjoy living.

The art and practice of mindfulness can assist you in connecting with your authentic self. Previous columns have discussed how to implement the practice of mindfulness in your life. What we have not discussed is the internal dialogue that will arise when you are living mindfully. I firmly believe that one cannot put themselves in the place of mindfulness without self-honesty. Mindful living is going to involve paying attention to the details of your life. This will include your internal thoughts and feelings to be certain that your actions, reactions and reality are lining up with those thoughts and feelings.

People are driven by their emotions and intellect. When you live mindfully where your true feelings lay regarding your life will surface. Honesty will guide you through where you are living the life you want versus the life of expectation and obligation. We all have obligations that we must observe, but we can control how much of our life is directed by obligation. Self-honesty is a critical step in allowing mindful living to assist you in being your authentic self. This will then guide your decisions and actions to the life you truly want to live. This honesty can bring about a lot of emotions. Sometimes it feels as if you are fighting an internal war between the voices of expectation and obligation and your authentic voice. However, it will not always feel that way.

The more you are honest with yourself, the more you will cultivate that authentic living in the choices you make. Every moment of our day is faced with choices. Mindfulness, reflection and self-honesty will guide you in making the choices that are best aligned with the life that you truly desire. Change does not happen overnight. Sometimes we find that we have built a life close to what speaks to our soul. Others may find that they have not. Wherever you are in your self honesty and authenticity, embrace it. All things are possible once you embrace where you are and acknowledge where you want to be.

As we transition to Samhain, it is the perfect time to let go of what no longer serves us and embrace the new beginning. Like the phoenix this is the time to rise from the ashes of what no longer serves and embrace the opportunities of the new year. This turn of the wheel is also when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. Ancestor veneration is one of the common celebration themes of this Sabbat; along with divination.

Reflection upon our past, our family history and ancestors can often enlighten us to thoughts, feelings and patterns of behavior. The more that we understand where we come from and how that shaped us. The easier it is for us to understand our ties to expectation and obligation. Understanding these ties is part of the self honesty we must have with our self to truly be one with our authentic self. Am I saying that expectation and obligation are burdensome? Negative? Not at all. They are merely things that we are aligned with in our lives. Whether they are positive, negative or neutral depends on the nature of the expectation and obligation, along with how it impacts our mind, body, spirit and environment.

Our environment can be brought to match the seasons with color. Seasonal colors are deep burgundy, jewel tones, blacks and browns. Colors that can represent end of growth, barren, transition to a resting time after harvest. You can incorporate these colors into your décor to aide in visual cues to slow down, rest and reflect. Wardrobe choices bring the energy of the season to you and your endeavors. These visual clues are mindful reminders of where you are in the wheel of the year and your spiritual practice. Allowing your to align your body, mind, spirit and environment. Furthermore you can bring in symbols of the ancestors, otherworld, darkness and transition to aide you in aligning with the seasonal energies.

This season offers many ways to connect with the world around us. Apple picking, hay rides, pumpkin farms, mulling cider or wine. Baking breads and pies. Walking in the woods to observe the change in colors and smells. Evenings with family and friends by a campfire. City dwellers will find a variety of art, theater and craft shows as well as seasonal dining with autumn flavors. All are ways to connect with yourself and the world around you. Connection leads to authenticity.


A Meditation for Awareness and Connection:


Five Senses Mindful Awareness (aka 5-4-3-2-1-1)

What are five things that you see around you?

What are four things you can feel?

What are three things you can hear?

What are two things you can see?

What is one thing you taste or like the taste of?

What is one thing you like about yourself?


A Meditation for Centering:

Another great breath meditation is the alternate nostril breathing. This helps balance the left and right sides of the brain, calm the nervous system and align the chakras.

    • Bring your hand to your nose, with your index finger hovering over the left nostril and the thumb hovering over the right nostril.
    • Press the thumb against the right nostril to block it and inhale through the left nostril
    • Use the index finger to block the left nostril, this will mean both nostrils are blocked. Hold for two seconds.
    • Release your thumb on the right nostril and exhale, pause for two seconds after the exhale
    • Keep the left nostril closed, inhale through the right nostril. Pause for two seconds
    • Open the left nostril, close the right and exhale, hold for two seconds.
    • Repeat


Circular breathing is a great way to restore balance to the body. Balance is something that always needs to be assessed and shifted. How we balance our lives during each transition is important. Balance is not something we achieve once and it remains. Micro shifts are needed to maintain balance, as well as occasional macro shifts. Fluidity is the key to balance.




*Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash



About the Author:



Irisa MacKenzie joined PaganPagesOrg in 2022 writing the Mindful Living: A Connection of Body, Mind and Spirit column and book reviews. Irisa has taught meditation and mindfulness for 25 years. Her blog continues her discussions on mindfulness, meditation and living a purpose driven life.

Viking Woman Creations has eclectic creations for authentic self-expression. Our holistic services support meditation and mindfulness practices plus the magic that support our body, mind and spirit connection to the Universe. Viking Woman Creations is a small woman owned new business that will be growing over the coming years. Please look for us on Instagram and Facebook.