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Owning a Rock

Owning a rock is a fun mindfulness exercise I came up with because of my yearly vacations to Sauble Beach. My son and I would fill small buckets with rocks from the beach every day. I would dump the buckets into a large bag and then bring the bag home with us at the end of the vacation. I would then use the rocks for my gardens, making little displays with them. I found that as I picked up each rock and added to the garden, there was a story to each one. A memory attached and I would have wonderful flash backs of my time spent on the beach with my family. I would feel all the emotions as if they were happening in real time. I would see, smell and feel everything. I would be brought back to that moment in time.

I decided that I would carry a rock with me in my pocket at all times from the beach. I would take the rock out of my pocket throughout my day, hold it in my hand and once again be brought back to that moment. It was amazing the power this rock had. I would rub it in my hand feeling the textures. I would look at the rock and see all the different shades, shapes and colours. I made friends with the rock and the rock gave the friendship back in ways that I never imagined it would. The rock became a calming tool. When I was feeling off, the rock was there. When I wanted to feel good, the rock was there. When I held it in my hand I would be transported back to a wonderful sunny beach with my son. We were walking in the water, carrying our buckets, the sun was hot, the water warm, the feeling of the sand under my feet, It was all there in so much detail that it was amazing. Every time I held the rock, I would breathe deep, close my eyes and images, memories would come rushing back like visiting a good friend and talking about the past. My rock and I became good friends.

I wanted to make the attachment even stronger so I wrote about my rock I gave it a back story, a history. I wrote in depth about my days on the beach collecting the rocks and all that went along with it. All the feelings. Drawing on all 5 senses, I was drawn in even deeper into this experience. Seeing and feeling at a deeper, almost real level. This was a turning point in my mindfulness practice. I knew at that moment I could mesh writing with meditation and this was going to change my world. This experience lead me to create many different meditations for myself and the kick start to using writing and meditation as a therapeutic tool. We’ll get to that later in the book!

After the release of my 3rd book “ My Guided meditation”, I started to teach it as a 4 and 8 week course. I decided that I was going to include the “owning a rock” exercise. I brought in the bag of rocks with me and I handed them out to the class. Each person got their own rock. I would then guide them through the process of building their own bond with the rock. Some people wrote and some people chose not to. It works either way depending on the student and how open they are. I realize that the concept is pretty out there but it works in amazing ways! I will now walk you through the process of owning your own rock!

Step 1- Go find a rock that you like the look of. It might be in your back yard, on a beach, a lake front or a path in the forest. You want your rock to be able to fit in your hand and in your pocket.

Step 2- Now that you have the rock the 2nd step is to hold it, feel it, and roll it around in your hand. Look at it. Smell it and name it so you get to know each and every little detail about the rock. As you do this you breathe deep and you slow yourself down. You pay attention to everything. How your Mind, Body & Soul are feeling while you hold the rock. If you wish to write, this will deepen the bond that is being created. You would write much like you did with the peeling the orange exercise. Start like this “My rock looks like…” and build from there.

Step 3- Close your eyes, breathe deep and feel the rock’s energy in your hand. Feel your Body, Mind and Soul relax. Feel that warmth in your chest. Now create a back story to where you would like your rock to come from. It can come from anywhere you wish. Picture yourself in the moment. See and feel everything that is there. If you are writing, take small breaks and write then go back to closing your eyes and being in the moment.

Take your time with this step. Do not rush as there is no hurry. This is an experience just for you to enjoy and make your own.

Step 4- After you have created your back story, open your eyes and look at your rock. Breathe deep, roll it around in your hand and feel the emotions that are there. See and feel the back story that you created. If you wrote out your back story after you looked at you rock, now read through what you have written and notice just how deep you can go into this experience.

Step 5- You take your rock and you put it in your pocket. The rock is now with you always. It is your friend. It travels with you everywhere you go. If you don’t have a pocket, put it in you purse or handbag backpack, what ever you carry with you while you go about your day. Your rock goes with you as well.

Step 6- Using your rock, you can think about it. Picture its back story from time to time. If you are stressed out, you have your rock. Take it out, hold it, rub it and feel it. The rock will calm you down. Breathe deep, close your eyes and let the rock be there for you! Let the rock be there in good times and bad! Your rock is your friend and that will never change. Your rock is special to you and you alone.

These are the 6 steps to owning the rock. I hope that you find this mindfulness exercise helpful. I hope that you make a new friend! Build a bond with your own rock. Being mindful is such an easy thing to do and having a practice is so enjoyable and rewarding. With practice, everything becomes enjoyable and we reach greater heights. We build a sense accomplishment and we feel good about ourselves. If we can build a meaningful relationship with a rock that is special and unique then we can apply all we learned in our own lives and in our personal lives as well. Learning that it is okay to have our own feelings and our own experiences. Feeling good about them without guilt is so important. We can learn a lot about ourselves and the people around us if you use the lessons that our rock teaches us. To feel, to see, and to BE in the moment.

Darcy Patrick

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