Off with the monobrow
(and on with your underpants)

Don’t worry, I’m not suddenly giving makeover advice.

Well, not in the traditional sense anyway. I’d like to tell you about a recent experience that caused me to reflect on both underpants and monobrows in a new way.

I am a keen meditator and a huge fan of Sharon Salzberg, and when she issued a 28-day meditation challenge #commit2sit, featuring a different one of her recordings for a whole month, I signed up with speed.

So I found myself contemplating difficult emotions under her guidance, sitting quietly, focusing on the experience of anger, not a list of things or people that make me mad, but the bodily sensations anger created for me. Instantly I became aware of a heavy feeling across my forehead, just above my eyes. It felt almost solid, causing me to frown heavily – and at once the monobrow of anger was born.

Intrigued by such a strong physical sensation I continued to focus on that area, and something interesting happened. That solid, angry feeling shifted and I began to glimpse what lay underneath: fear, hurt, frustration, disappointment – like bubbles floating up from the deep, an array of different emotions came into view. I softly noted each one, gently acknowledging its presence, neither pushing it away nor being overwhelmed, and then simply let it to go. My frown began to ease, the tightness loosened and the anger began to dissolve, to be replaced by a peaceful and realistic reminder that all emotions eventually pass, even the difficult and powerful ones.

As the meditation closed I felt ready to face whatever the day would bring. My son greeted me with a wonderful piece of advice: It’s Monday mummy, time to put on your underpants of inspiration.” And of course I did.

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