Mindfulness: Lazy River Technique

Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.
Lilly Pulitzer, American socialite and fashion designer

I’ve lived in Iowa long enough to know that even though it’s 77 degrees today, it might actually feel like winter by the time you read this.

But for today, I’m going to enjoy “spring,” even though it doesn’t officially arrive until March 20th. I’ve loved being outdoors, soaking in the warmth of the day, smelling the fresh air, and watching nature change out of its winter browns and into its springtime greens.

Spring’s renewal reminds me that we, too, can renew ourselves—starting with our thoughts. What are we looking for and what are we seeing that contributes to our thoughts?

If you’re like me, you might focus on the same thing over and over and over again, whether that’s a problem, a regret or a fear. By practicing mindfulness and staying in the present moment, I’ve discovered I’m less likely to worry about what’s to come or fret about the past.

Recently, as part of my nursing continuing education credits, I took a workshop titled, “100 Brain-Changing Mindfulness Techniques to Integrate Into Your Clinical Practice.” The class was taught by Debra Burdick, LCSW, BCN, who is also known as “The Brain Lady.”

RiverOne part of the workshop that I absolutely loved was a mindfulness visualization she shared called the Lazy River: download Lazy River PDF (©2014 Debra Burdick, LCSWR, BCN; www.TheBrainLady.com). Debra gave me permission to share this with you. One way to use this visualization is to do it with a friend or family member. Take turns reading it to one another—or record it and then do it by yourself or with others.

When you’re finished with the exercise, Debra suggests that you consider what you saw in your imagination. You can either journal or talk through questions, such as:  Did you have a hard time “letting go” of objects on the river? What did you do to keep yourself from getting distracted?

I hope you’ll enjoy this visualization as much as I did!

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