I’ve been thinking about scanning lately. It’s pretty topical. In this age of Covid-19 we need to remember to scan as we go, noticing each place we visit, keeping a record. More recently in New Zealand we have seen the value of scanning in; the potential risk when we do not, and how the community is safer, potentially and actually, when we all scan in, and then necessary action can be taken faster when Covid pops up in our community.

This has me reflecting on my self-care and wellness plan. How important scanning is as part of our/my wellness? And now I’m not talking about Covid apps. I’m talking about a body, mind and wairua scan. Taking the time to scan where we are, how we are and what we are present to. What are we doing, how are we doing it and how are we feeling about it? A form of mindfulness.

I notice the days and times when I fly out of the house to work, or even fly to my computer for zoom appointments. I am rushed, hurried and not present at all. These are the times I usually leave something at home. It also indicates that my head is full and I am probably not ready to stop and listen to the person I am engaging with.

In contrast, when I have time to scan, or more accurately when I take the time, I am less likely to forget something, am calmer and am breathing, and with ears (and heart) open and ready to listen.

Now my hope is that the person sitting opposite me may not notice the difference between the scanned me and ‘un-scanned’ me, but I notice. I notice in my breath, in my memory recall, in my shoulders and in my hopefulness. I also notice the difference is how tightly I hold the conversations and how I am able to let them rest then go rather then carrying another’s ‘burden’.

This is the wellbeing and self-care aspect of scanning for me. In the same way as scanning in with the Covid app means we have noted where we have been and then we can relax knowing we’ve done our piece to support speedy action in the event of community transmission; our body scan can help us to note, be present, acknowledge and then move on.

So how does this scan go? It’s not so much a checklist but a moment to stop and breath and notice. If there was an actual checklist (on any given day) my scan may look something like this:

  • What am I facing ahead of me today? Do I have all the physical items I need?
  • Where is my emotional energy today? What’s in my head? How have I slept?
  • How is my body? Is there tension or tightness? Where am I holding that tension or tightness?
  • What am I feeling? What do I need to put down?
  • How is my breathing? Where is my breath? Where is my breath coming from and how deep is it going?
  • Three deep, slow breaths. Tihei Mauri ora

And just with the simple task of taking a scan, I have landed, and have noticed and am more ready to face my day and to be well, calm and safe in my day. It’s really not rocket science but it really is a practice and a discipline.

What do you do? How do you scan to be able to be present and ready with open ears, heart and wairua? Maybe you meditate, pray, karakia? Whatever it is, let’s get scanning, actually and metaphorically! Let’s practice our wellbeing and self-care everyday.

Tihei Mauri ora