Mind Body Scan

Mind Body Scan, how to stay where your feet are at.

I have realized something about myself in the last few months. I have a hard time being where my feet are at. I’m always looking to the next step. 

What’s the next thing I have to do? 

When can {whatever I’m doing} end? So I can move onto said next step

What am I going to do tomorrow?

It’s a weird way to live, because I don’t know if I’m ever really enjoying where I am at. Where my feet are planted. Am I able to be fully present and enjoy a moment, any situation, that life has given me? Or am I letting it pass me by, and I’ll barely remember it.

Have you felt this before?

Are you in a beautiful spot in nature, with trees and sounds all around, and then boom. 

Out of nowhere…
What did I take out for supper?
Did I make sure that treat in my sons lunch was nut-free? 
Did I respond to that birthday invite?
I wonder if that new client responded to my email?

And the moment where my feet are at is kind of lost on me. This beautiful moment where I should be able to enjoy just sitting in the moment has become a flood of anxiety over what is the next moment or step

When I was young, it was not possible to live in the moment. I was always in a nervous state. Because my dad was an alcoholic, as was his before him, we lived a very volatile life. There wasn’t a lot of stillness, or being present in my life. I was in a state of high alert. All of the time. Whether I was trying to please him in the moment, or worried about what state he would come home in. Being present was just not possible.
And being present is a muscle that we have to work out.
So that muscle for me didn’t see daylight for 47 years. 

And, even when I left home at 18, I chose partners who kept me guessing. Wondering where they would turn up next, when could I count on them, and when couldn’t I count on them. That nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach never went away. And I was never able to just ‘be’ in a moment, I was always looking at what is next. Where could I go to be safe, where am I going next.

This is exhausting, and a volatile way to live and so I knew I had to change.

I have been working with my therapist for months on this “living in the moment” muscle. Because it is a muscle and it needs to be strengthened. Together, we came up with my focus five….they are five senses and they are what I turn to when I feel not present. 

  1. Hear.
    What can I hear? How far away is it? Is it the sound of nature? Is it man made? What place does it take me to?
  2. See.
    Looking around, what do I see? Pay attention to colors, textures, the vibrance of it all. And really see what is around.
  3. Feel.
    What can I feel in this exact moment? Can I feel the wind, can I feel the heat of the sun, can I feel the coolness of the air? What can I feel on my skin.
  4. Smell.
    Taking big breaths, what can I smell? Where is it coming from? How do I feel smelling it? Does it relax me?
  5. Taste.
    What can I taste right now? Slight sweetness from a candy, mint from gum, or just the cold of my latest sip of water.

This is a mind body scan. It doesn’t take more than 5 or 6 minutes, going slow, to engage all of my senses in the moment I am in. It allows me to ground myself in whatever I’m doing.
Do I do it all of the time?
No, I’m human.
I try to do it when I find my mind wandering away where it doesn’t need to be. It takes practice and mindfullness. I’m working on a muscle, and so it is going to need muscle memory.

If you can relate to not being totally present in activities or situations, try the mind body scan. It might bring you back to the moment you are missing.

Donita Fowler

Coach + Creator
Manage your emotions and you can navigate challenges with a balanced perspective.