CNM 008: A Mindfulness Technique For Codependents

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In this episode we change gears a bit while I share some personal experience about mindfulness. “Cultivating Mindfulness and Mental Clarity” ranked among the top 5 important issues for our audience in a survey we took at the bottom of this post, so I knew this experience would be great to talk about!

Seven years ago I sat in silence for ten days at a Vipassana Meditation retreat after reading Never Eat Alone. I had never meditated before, didn’t know anything about it, and frankly I was a little scared of the whole thing. Coming from a religious home, I also felt some leeriness from my family about the whole thing. My friends thought I was joining a cult. I even worried that meditation could have some irreversible negative side-effect, and I might completely regret trying it out. Of course, that was all bogus. Earlier this month marked the third time I took ten days out of my life for such a cause – self discovery and cultivating awareness and equanimity.

The practice of mindfulness has become a hot topic in western society, it’s “in”. I don’t think it’s a fad either. The act of taming the mind to focus on one thing will give great benefit, at the surface level of the mind. Vipassana will take this a few steps further to allow not only focus, but deep awareness of self coupled with increased equanimity – mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.

I believe these skills are especially foundational to codependency recovery because codependents seem to have noticeable detachment to “self”. That is, they often times have lost touch with their own needs because their focus is fully on the needs of someone else. In episode 6 of the podcast, Debbie shared that she was unable to name one thing when her support group asked her what she needed help with. Beyond a basic awareness of self and personal needs, codependents have asked us about how to calm down their obsessive, racing thoughts when they’re worried about something or someone. Again, the ability to tame the conscious mind and put it in tune with one’s self is invaluable for moments like this. So, I felt it was time to go in depth on one way to cultivate mindfulness.

In this episode, we’ll discuss:

  • Negative thought loops
  • What is meditation and mindfulness
  • Why equanimity is key
  • Why awareness of body sensations matters for mindfulness
  • Developing space between stimulus and response
  • Highjacking your unconsciousness mind
  • Changing the habit pattern of the mind
  • “Know Thyself”
  • Tips and resources to get started practicing mindfulness
  • What science says about mindfulness meditation

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

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William Heart