When we are being mindful, we are choosing to notice the details of our experience, just as they are in this moment and without judging or trying to change them in the first instance.
Being mindful is actually something that we all did very naturally when we were small children. When we are being mindful, we are choosing to notice the details of our experience, just as they are in this moment and without judging or trying to change them in the first instance. Sometimes mindfulness is described as seeing clearly. It’s a way of being present in the moment, as opposed to being preoccupied with your to-do list, or last night’s difficult conversation with your partner/boss. It’s also a way to connect back to yourself, and the life you are in, instead of being lost in the past or future, as so often happens in the haste of our busy days.
Drawing from over 20 years of mindfulness experience, I work very much in the here and now of my clients experience. A mindfulness based therapy places greater emphasis upon being present with our emotions as they are felt in our body – our “felt sense”. What is particularly valued is opening to the fullness of our experience rather than too quickly moving towards cognitive understanding and the finding of meaning. This is more about ‘being with’ rather than more doing. Learning to listen and stay with what our body feels in a spacious and kindly way. This way of working deeply resonates with my heart, I have found that by leaning into our experience cultivates a kindly acceptance, which serves as a vehicle for deep inner healing.
For all of us, the path of understanding and befriending our experience requires great gentleness and patience. The deep and persistent tendency to think that something is wrong with us is a prison that prevents us from living and loving fully. Yet as we learn to meet whatever arises in our body, heart and mind with kind acceptance, and a friendly interest, we discover a precious freedom. Rather than being identified as a defective and insufficient self, we can come to trust what Buddhists call our Buddha nature—the awareness and love that are our true essence.
If the idea of a mindfulness practice appeals to you and you would like to learn more, there are lots of relatively easy ways to do that. Here are a few: I run Mindfulness stress reduction courses (MBSR). In addition to this I run workshops, and groups based around all aspects of Mindfulness, and Compassion. I also teach on a one-to-one basis if that feels more appropriate, or you could choose to work with me therapeutically in my role as Psychotherapist/Counsellor. There are also many books available that teach mindfulness, which can be a great first step.
Mindfulness helps you see your life differently, change unhelpful patterns & experience more choice.