As a mindfulness guide specializing in outdoor mindfulness, I’m a strong believer in finding your own personal sit spot. Cultivating this simple practice can reap a bounty of benefits. Even if you don’t have a regular meditation practice, you should spend time in your sit spot on everyday.
What this heck is a sit spot?
As the name implies, it’s simply a place to sit in nature on a regular basis. It is a mindfulness practice that helps you to cultivate awareness, and has those same benefits of any outdoor mindfulness practice as I’ve written about here.
How do I pick my sit spot?
A sit spot is a place that you can and will easily visit on a regular basis. That means it should be close to your home or business, be easily accessible and be safe. It can be in the middle of the woods, in your backyard garden, in a city park, or even on your apartment balcony. If you’re not able to got outside, or you don’t feel safe outside, being right next to a window where you can see nature in any form will do. For me, I chose Jason’s Garden at my home. It’s a place of peace for me and I can visit any time I want. And when I’m away, I like to find a “temporary” sit spot to experience a whole new world!
What do I do once I’ve found my sit spot?
First, make a commitment to spend time in your sit spot every day. Then, turn off your phone! You can stay as long as you’d like, and starting with five minutes will help you build that routine. I like to sit in the early morning, before the house has awakened and just as the sun is peeking over the horizon.
Begin to connect to the spot with all your senses. You can do that with eyes open or closed (except, of course, for your sense of sight), what ever works best for you.
- Listen to the other critters that you share this space with – the song birds and insects and squirrels and such – as well as the wind through the trees and any other sounds you might hear. Be sure to include manmade sounds, too.
- Smell the grasses, soil, wildflowers, rocks and any thing else that comes to mind. Be sure to include manmade smells, too.
- Taste what is in the air by parting your lips and letting your in breath roll over your tongue.
- Notice what you feel – the sun on your skin, the temperature of the air, a breeze on your cheek, the surface you’re sitting on or your clothes touching your skin, for example.
- Notice your sense of self in the space. Where you are sitting, who you’re sharing the space with, how you are positioned.
- See everything around you, from the smallest to the largest, the closest to the farthest. Look at all the different colors. Look up and look down. Take the space in.
Once you get comfortable with this practice, challenge yourself to notice one new thing each day. And if you’re a journaler, this is the perfect practice to proceed your daily journaling. If not, simply reflect on the experience for a few moments.
Starting a regular sit spot practice is one of the simplest, most effective mindfulness practices you can cultivate. You’ll be amazed at the life around your that you never noticed was there. And once the routine is established you will wonder what you did without it!