Earlier this week I wrote a piece on Facebook about my experience with Mindfulness in the schools, I want to take a moment to thank the folks who not only read the piece but took the time to watch the TED talk I posted along with it and a special shout-out to those who took it one step further and shared the information. All of it helps the awareness and benefits of Mindfulness reach out to a larger audience. So once again, thank you.
This morning I write with a much different scenario in mind but you’ll find the tie-in pretty easy. Thursday night I slept just awful. I had stuff on my mind...thinking more than a few of you can relate.
It’s been awhile since I spent the better part of an entire night with something on my mind but for what it’s worth, I did. Around 4 AM, I gave up lying there and got up. Sometime between 7 & 8 AM I was so exhausted, I tried to fall asleep. At one point I lifted my head off the pillow and thought to myself “I don’t want to feel this way, burdened, heavy with circumstance and situation. I wish this feeling would go away.”
Then quietly and gently, my awareness came knocking, allowing the stuff I teach and preach to appear and have its way with me. Immediately I “checked in with myself” and noticed I was really sad. I then applied what I have come to find is the most effective way to get through anything and that’s self-compassion.
It’s funny how something that sounds so wimpy can be so doggone powerful but that’s because most of us have it fixed in our mind that self-compassion is some mushy thing only hippies do, I know this space well because I was one of those people too - until I wasn’t.
Back to yesterday and realizing I was blue, sad and didn’t want to feel that way. Self-compassion allowed me to say that it was OK that I wasn’t feeling great, recent circumstances being what they were. It just made sense I felt the way I did. True, I thought. Then self-compassion quietly whispered in my ear “Just be sad. For a day or a few, it’s alright. It won’t last forever. Everything will be just fine.” And although the heaviness of the sadness stayed, the wishing it was different or gone and the subsequent suffering that comes when we wish things were different than reality, left.
Mindfulness, I thought. Like a Swiss Army Knife for the mind - the right tool at the right time. I had it, I used it, and it helped.
If there is any one thing I’ve learned about Mindfulness and its ability to help us get through life better, and enjoy life more, I would say that it can’t even be tapped if you don’t first ascribe to the idea that you can’t go over, under, around, push down or pretend your feelings away. That you MUST venture through them. Meet them head-on. It’s only when we do that when we admit what’s going on, get curious about why we feel the way we do and apply some Mindful self-compassion that we have the healthiest option for getting ourselves out. Period.
The power to live out the roller coaster of life with its ups and downs, suffering less and enjoying more, lies completely in your hands. We came into this world complete yet the world and its ways erode that knowing thus allowing us to believe that happiness, peace, contentment, etc. all lie outside of us, in other people, things, experiences and the like, but that’s not true.
And so you see? You’ve got everything you need inside you already.
And so you may seek out a little help “knocking the dirt” off those skills, off "your light" and that’s admirable.
And so you find a book, take a class or talk to another “light” to reconnect with yours.
And so a better life begins and the light that is you now radiates and inspires others to reconnect to theirs.
And so it goes.
And so it goes.
And so it goes.
And so it is. <3