I may disappoint you if I tell you that living mindfully is not about seeing everything in a beautiful way. In fact, we do not try to see everything through a lens of peace and love. We actually live our current context with much more awareness which might not be such a merry ride. Think about it. You become so aware of the body language of people and whether their intent matches their words. You end up reading people very well and actually become aware when people are lying to you and not. You actually begin to realize and understand how corrupted people may actually be when you meet them. It can be quite destabilizing.
You may have heard about the famous Zen saying “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water”. This is a very profound saying which guides our practice. This is so because after a mindfulness session, you will still go in the outside world and continue dealing with people who can be manipulative, backstab or drain your energy. You may well ask, “what’s the point of being mindful?”
You see, we live our lives on auto pilot mode. We have a certain routine and we rarely appreciate the things we do fully. We are always in a rush and overthinking the things we do. Having a Statistician’s background before I became a yoga teacher and MBSR practitioner, I can tell you that I have always overthought many of my life events from taking loans till having a heartbreak. Every single detail is analysed and major changes made to one’s lives. What do we do, then?
Being mindful makes us become more aware to such a point that we realise easily when people are playing their mind games because we are not into their games and we are able to see things in a detached way. Hence, you can act and not react to situations. For example, when someone is yelling at you, you’d say that “we will talk when you calm down.” You will not get dragged into the game. What are the benefits? You keep your calm mental state, you don’t cause harm to the other person and to yourself. Now, let’s be mindful enough. If someone is coming to hit you, do defend yourself.
The more one practices mindfulness, one becomes more aware of one’s emotions. For example, when you get angry, you will be more aware of your anger and you will play several scenarios in your head and wait for the feelings to pass. You will not react. If you think that you might be losing it, you will get out of the situation and calm yourself down. For example, you may wish to go for a walk and get control of the situation again. What happens is that you will be acting only if it leads to something constructive because this is what it is being mindful.
In my next blog, I will talk about routines we can practise so that we live mindfully. Much love,