We live in an age of increasing convenience. Most of our needs, whether real or perceived, can be met ASAP. We have been sold ‘Grab & Go’ as a lifestyle and let’s face it, it has great advantages. We can avoid long queues. We don’t have to bring so much with us because we know we can get it when we are there and on it goes.
A draw back to the integration of this as a way of living however is that we tend to apply it to everything. We find having to wait for anything is an inconvenience and if it can’t happen instantly, we don’t really want to know.
When it comes then to practicing mindfulness, we might also want and expect instant results!
Mindfulness as a practice can make us acutely aware of our frustrations and so we might blame it on the practice and decide “it’s not for me”!
Maybe though, if we were to sit with the frustration, apply the principles of practice, observe the sensation of frustration, observe the thoughts of frustration but not attach to them, not take them personally, saying, “That’s frustration” and know that it’s just a feeling and just like weather, it will pass, sometimes strengthening before it abates, but always abating, we might recognise that all the ‘going’ we have been doing has really just been a way to escape the frustration. When we get beyond the frustration, we often discover a gentle calm where we no longer have to chase anything, rather just sit in the peaceful space within us.
This takes a willingness to give it time, a willingness to be gentle with ourselves, and a willingness to acknowledge the feelings, thoughts and sensations that arise with no judgement or agenda, just curiosity and kindness towards ourselves.
This can’t be done with a ‘grab & go’ approach. It takes courage to take time to sit and be with ourselves, especially when our culture is set up for us to ‘keep moving’.
So, whether you choose to sit for 2 minutes or 20, remember this is a gift to yourself and your mind, body and spirit will thank you by being healthier, happier and more connected to what’s important to you right now.
A word of caution… Mindfulness is not a ‘Cure all’ and if you have experienced trauma in your life, sitting with intense emotions can be very difficult, even retraumatising. We recommend anyone new to mindfulness practice to engage the help and support of a trained and experienced professional to support you in developing your practice.
You can find accredited Mindfulness teachers with a wide range of specialities here at www.mtai.ie
You can access guided mindfulness & meditation practices here