WHAT DO WE MEAN BY MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, in a particular way, to what is happening in your life, as it is happening. It is learning to meet things as they are, without criticism or judgement, so that they can be seen more clearly.
MEETING LIFE WITH MINDFULNESS - HOW IT WORKS
Mindfulness offers a subtle, but significant shift in how we meet our experiences (internally and externally). Our automatic reaction to things we don't like or think should be different is to get rid of them. We try to push the discomfort away or try to resolve it—thinking about how to fix it, or who's to blame for it. On one hand, this makes sense. Stop what is uncomfortable. But often, what we resist, persists. Rejecting what is happening gives it more power. And usually adds to our original discomfort, making things worse.
A lot of time and energy gets spent rearranging our lives because we hope that when we get things, or ourselves sorted, we will have more peace of mind, contentment and satisfaction.
Mindfulness creates the space and capacity to see how things impact us, and to see, through our direct experience, what is and isn't helpful. It is a way to be more fully informed about our own lives and wellbeing.
Mindfulness is meeting our experiences consciously, rather than automatically. An alternative to letting our well rehearsed automatic habits or default mode determine how we live our lives. We learn to direct our attention to our experience with a quality of friendliness that allows us to see what is already here—anxiety, self-doubt, physical pain. From here, we can choose how to respond. Sometimes there are things we can do that might help. Other times, letting things be and redirecting our attention might be most helpful.
When we make decisions from this place, we often feel clearer. Wisdom can arise naturally when we are connected to our real experience, rather than lost thinking about how to deal with it. We learn to let life flow through us. Often getting out of our own way and letting things resolve naturally.
BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION May INCLUDE:
Reduced stress, obtain quiet or inner peace
Have a break from the pace of daily life
Feel and experience the truth of “the way things are” for yourself
Enhance empathy and compassion for yourself and others
Become more familiar with your mental habits and emotional states
Become more responsive rather than reactive
Increase cognitive flexibility
Enhance creativity and flow