MINDFULNESS | 09 MAR 2020
The truth about mindfulness
There has been a movement flowing along for some time now called mindfulness, or as I have heard said a “race to enlightenment”. I think this phrase is indicative of the commercialisation of an ancient practice as a way of being in the world, as a way of living, and highlights the paradoxical nature of what it has become in the Western world. There are many research papers and study’s over the past 15 years purporting the benefits of mindfulness practices in all areas of health, education, and business ranging from creating cultures of well-being to individual health. But what does mindfulness truly mean? I am no expert and anyone practicing mindfulness in an authentic way will understand- this is not a subject we become masterful in. It is not a learning paradigm of linear accomplishment; it is circular in nature as is our human experience and growth. You can enter at any point, as there is no beginning or end.
It is not outcome based or guaranteed, and the individual experience is variable as is the narrative of human existence.
In my humble opinion mindfulness is a means to see oneself. It is a daily practice to calm the turbulence of the nervous system so that we may see clearly with discernment. A way to create a mirror, continually cleansed so we may see the reflection of our internal worlds. The benefits to having a means to see what happens in us, is that we can feel empowered in our worlds to create change without focusing on changing what is external. In this sense, we create hope and resilience. We more readily accept our experience with less attachment to habits of rejection, burying, and ignoring the critical information our body gives us. We pay attention, on purpose with loving kindness. We stop putting things in good and bad baskets and develop insight and understanding of the nature of dualism. There is less attachment to striving and “I’ll be happy when” as we learn to invite and welcome all our experiences without judgment, knowing that our truth and understanding today may not be the same tomorrow. In this act, it is possible to be less attached to our opinions and necessity of them, we listen more openly and with curiosity, we prioritise compassion and kindness, and we know we are same but different.
If we can adapt daily practices in our lives that are multidimensional in developing awareness of own complex natures we may be able to invest in relationships with others more fully and powerfully. This is a very central idea to Mindfulness Practices in Education- investing in building relationships that support learning potential and thriving.
If you would like to see us in person in the Shoalhaven and Wollongong areas or have an online appointment from anywhere to discuss some support then contact us today.
Director/ Principal Psychologist at Shoalhaven Psychology Services
Co-founder of Mindfulness Practices in Education