How to wake up to your life with mindful awareness
It is said that much of mindfulness is simply about 'Waking Up'.
Throughout time, many of us have wandered through life in some sort of a daze, a strangely hypnotised state that can feel like a dream we cannot wake from.
As children, we lived every moment to the full, we were, as they say, 'Fully Present'. Then when structures were placed around us, education, expectations of society and parents, a conformity emerges almost beyond our awareness, heavily media influenced and largely conditioned by a series of learnt behaviours.
If we feel that we have been sleep walking through some or most of our lives, mindfulness does help us to 'wake up'. When we sit in practice, we begin to notice patterns of our behaviour, our reactivity, our triggers for anger and sadness and we have the opportunity to re-frame our views of ourselves and others, through clear and fresh eyes.
Perhaps we wish to understand why rejection is so painful or forming relationships is hard, perhaps we fear our own anger, sadness or lack of self respect. Maybe we wish to manage our anxiety, depression or low mood more effectively and with reduced or no medication. Whatever the reason, there is a place within ourselves that we can turn and face our fears and notice that we don't have to fix them or make them disappear. The counter intuitive gift that is mindfulness meditation allows those fears and space to arise naturally.
We come to understand that to 'awaken' means to sit and allow whatever we notice simply to be there, without resorting to our old behaviours and strategies to silence or eliminate it. As we do this, bit by bit we will also notice this 'thing' does not destroy, disable or harm us. It is a construct of our own thinking minds and yet some part of us feels we need to justify and add meaning to it, because this is habit.
And then we wake up.
When we wake up, we don't just sigh and say 'Ah that's why I am like this... ho hum' and rejoin our own pity party. Resignation is not the same as acceptance. At this point, we are learning to accept, without judgement or pity, that this is how it is, this is who we are, no more, no less. As we do this more often, our awareness increases and as old behaviours arise, we loosen their grip by becoming present, with our breath and with our bodies.
We begin to notice more. We are beginning to 'Wake up'.
May you be safe, well and at peace.
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.