Mindfulness Leighton Buzzard
Don’t worry butterfly mindfulness is not the latest upcoming trend to be introduced at practice group! It is more an unexpected mindful experience I had on my last trip to the zoo when we visited the butterfly house. On entering the butterfly area instead of being amazed at the butterflies I unexpectedly found myself feeling quite anxious as several large butterflies flew rather too close to my face for comfort. I was suddenly aware of my body feeling tense and ready for action, looking quickly in all directions for where the next one might be coming from and my heartbeat speeding up – classic symptoms of a stress response with my body preparing for fight, flight or freeze in the butterfly house of all places!
I was not alone in my response either – I heard and saw other people having similar experiences. I realised that I did not want the butterflies near my face and I was also concerned I would tread on one or knock one and hurt it. I found myself walking rather slowly and tentatively around and as my stress response gradually settled so did I, becoming more comfortable and confident in my surroundings and beginning to admire the gorgeous colours and antics of the butterflies. I started to take photos and was particularly keen to get a shot of one of the larger bright blue butterflies which danced around in front of me but would not stay put long enough for a photo resulting in me feeling annoyed that I could not get my perfect photo.
So in the space of probably five or so minutes I had experienced a range of emotions from happy to high alert stress to concentration and trepidation to confident to frustrated and finally to amusement at myself and how quickly thoughts and emotions can come and go despite how strongly we might feel them.
Once home and reflecting on the experience I wished that I had videoed a clip to use for this blog and social media – on the one hand an opportunity to share my mindful moment missed, but on the other hand I’m pleased I was not thinking about work on a family day out. So instead here is a fuzzy photo of my nemesis, my personal reminder that emotions come and go, some last longer than others, some leave the memory of them after they have gone but they are all transient.