The makings of a positive friendship


The Nature of Success

There is something about being lost in nature that brings a sense of harmony. How lucky am I, to have been invited to join a surf and meditation retreat, lost somewhere in nature’s finest, 11kms outside of the town centre of Crescent Head.

In my professional practice, as in my life, mindfulness is my core. This retreat has introduced me to a type of meditation called Kelee allowing me to expand on my mindfulness practice.
Let me tell you a bit about Kelee Meditation. Simply put, Kelee Meditation is a practice based approach in stilling the mind and opening the mind to a deeper state of awareness. Kelee allows you to learn the difference between the brain and the mind and how to stop rumination and worry and start observing through a calm, still state of mind. Paradoxically, once we achieve this, stress, anxiety and depression all start to reduce. We observe the volume has been turned down on that inner critic or negative Nancy, closing the array of tabs that had remained open for too long.

We all know what it is like to get lost in the constant stream of chatter that goes through our brain as we try and make our way through the day. Trying to make our way through the day……think about that sentence for a moment. If we are trying to make our way through the day, is life becoming a chore? How many times have you heard yourself say, ‘I just need to get through today’? ‘Tomorrow will be better.’ ‘Things will be different if we move’ or ‘When I get that new job, I’ll be happy’. Well c’mon! We all know that tomorrow never comes. We only ever live in the present moment. So, if we want the present to be over how can we ever find the peace or happiness that we are searching for?

Society has a lot to answer for, teaching us that we need to do more, work more, achieve more, look a certain way. The reality of this is higher rates of overwhelm, anxiety, depression, addictions and suicide, more disconnected youth yearning for acceptance and validation. And of course, COVID has played a uniquely large role in creating more distress and uncertainty for so many of us this past year. There’s an abundance of things we cannot control in life no matter how much we would like to. So instead of looking outwardly, we need to turn inwards.

Kelee involves just 5 minutes of your day in the morning and another 5 minutes at night. You want to find somewhere to sit that is quiet and where you will be uninterrupted. Kelee involves drawing your conscious awareness inwards to your Lesser Kelee (top of your head), to the surface of your mind (eye level) and finally to your Greater Kelee (from your nose down to heart level).

The goal and discipline is to get out of your thinking brain and experience one-pointed stillness in your mind. It is allowing your conscious awareness to be in a state of stillness without drifting. When brain function calms, the physical body relaxes.

Having spent five days at the retreat learning and practising Kelee I am sold. I walked away from the mid north coast (ok so I drove away) with an energized feeling, a calmness, a sense of freedom and a noticeable reduction of tension in my body, tension that was not as clear to me until it was gone.

Kelee, as with all meditation or mindfulness practice is not something we achieve and stop, it is a way of life, a constant. Just like we go to the gym to build muscles or increase fitness, we don’t quit the gym once we’ve developed our biceps. If we want biceps we have to keep doing those curls.

To truly accept and love ourselves, we need to continue to go within, to grow and learn and understand. Experiencing one pointed stillness teaches us about who we are, what our triggers are and what our needs are. This heightened state of awareness allows us to develop in ways that otherwise remain hidden and unreachable. It allows us to start tolerating distress and being with emotions even when they feel excruciatingly uncomfortable and to ultimately find the peace within.

Kelee Step by Step

Step 1:
To practice Kelee you want to start by spending about two minutes bringing your conscious awareness to the top of your head and allow your awareness to relax down to the surface of your mind. Be consciously relaxed but not thinking.

Step 2:
For the next three minutes relax and allow your awareness to drop below the surface of the mind into your greater Kelee. The goal is to let go of sense consciousness and experience total stillness before returning to full consciousness.

Step 3:
Achieving stillness of the mind takes commitment, practise and reflection. Following each meditation practice, reflect on what you noticed. Keep a journal to record your experiences and reflect back on your progress over time.

To learn more about Kelee meditation click on the following links:

Emma Lightfoot
Principal Psychologist



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