If you think “I just can’t be mindful” – this article is for you.
Ok so you’re not a meditation person, and can’t think of anything worse than trying to sit still focusing on your “feelings”. Seems stupid to try to have some kind of big experience when there’s so much going on and besides, it’s just boring. And all this talk about “accepting the moment”. Hey, things are bad in the world and my rent doesn’t get paid by “accepting” that I owe it. Stuff has to get done! Change needs to happen.
At the same time, there’s a lot of talk about mindfulness, blah blah blah and it would be good to be happier and enjoy life more. But it seems like everything you’ve tried just doesn’t work or isn’t “for you”. And you don’t want to ditch the moral outrage you have about the injustices in the world in order to find peace. What good is peace if you just bury your head in the sand?
I get it. I really do.
Here’s an easy way to bring more mindful moments into your life and model how to do so for others.
There is a simple and powerful practice to improve your communications and capacity to be mindful. It is, quite simply, to pause before you speak and consider how you feel about what is going in the moment. Don’t stop reading here. This deceptively simple suggestion has profound power.
It’s a weird situation. When you start to watch your thoughts, frequently there is a voice that goes something like “dang it – there’s a thought!” or “What am I supposed to be doing”. Frequently this takes the form of self-criticism “I’m no good at this” or “I’m not doing it right”. When this happens and someone reports they have had this kind of experience, my response is “that’s fabulous! You already have enough mindfulness to see the kind of thoughts you’re having and report on them”. And it’s true. I say the same thing to people who start a class by saying “I’m not very mindful”. I’ll say “You may have more than realize! You have enough to know that you could benefit from it and are motivated enough to get to a class, so that’s saying a lot about not only your self-awareness, but you intend to do something to improve yourself”. This is often unexpected, and it’s fun for me to observe the different ways people respond to that. (An article for later – being mindful when someone says something nice to you).
Well done description. Mindfulness as a superpower. Makes the point that jogging used to be considered something unusual and that Mindfulness will be like that in years to come. He asserts that the path to mindfulness is through meditation. I would refine that. That is A path, but not THE path. There are lots of others.