Where turmoil and tenderness meet…
There’s a lot of talk these days about mindfulness; about eating, thinking, speaking and living mindfully, so much so you could even say it’s a bit of a buzz word at present, but what does it really mean? What is mindfulness and is it different to conscious awareness?
For me, mindful somehow has a more gentle ring to it, I feel as though I want to tread gently, to whisper, to smile softly, or to self love more sweetly when I think of mindfulness. When I think of conscious awareness, for me it has more of my Kali energy in there; I want to burn down the barriers to that bliss consciousness, stomp the house down, weep and laugh more, and the self love feels directed, no-nonsense, and crone like in its energy, but that’s just my interpretation. The dictionary says this:
“the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
This definition of mindfulness is inclusive of conscious awareness, so I guess it’s not possible to have that mindfulness without awareness as the first port of call then?
For me, becoming mindful has been a lifelong lesson of self mastery, of developing great communication, of inimitable self awareness, of knowing where my ‘stuff’ is, how to not respond to my triggers, and how to see other people’s with compassion. It’s been about recognising the value and importance of my own voice and perspective and this necessitates the recognition of the voice of the ‘other’ and that’s just the external part. The internal part is where it gets really juicy – what do you do when you are triggered and feeling all kinds of emotions flaring up? You breathe deeply, and you walk your f**king talk! That’s what you do.
This morning when massively triggered, I could feel all of my old patterns rising to the surface like the bubbles from a freshly opened bottle of Prosecco. There I was, challenged by another’s perceptions, language and assumptions and truly called into my heart – the only place from which I can respond any more, and the only place that will ever bring peace to a situation of contrast without doubt. A while ago, this place would have taken me into my automatic fight/flight/freeze responses – comfort eat, drink into a fog, destructively self medicate somehow or have the mother of all arguments in my own head, all based upon what I would like to have said had I allowed myself to not be mindful, but to be mindless instead! But guess what, that’s just us poisoning our own systems and does it feel good? Hell no! There is a saying that goes “holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to feel ill” and for me that’s definitely a thing I have learnt. I now ask myself ‘does this reaction feel good in my energetic field? Is it raising my vibration or lowering it? (you will know in your body the answers to these questions) and then if it feels destructive rather than constructive, I change it; mindfully.
So today I chose differently, and in the eye of the storm I got up, juiced a whole ton of green veggies, went for a long walk and got my yoga gear on ready to get on my mat and practice despite my resistance.
Yoga and meditation, nature and self love all make order of my monkey mind, they calm the chitta vritti (mind chatter) and keep me humble, healthy and strong. They remind me that the moment is where it all goes on, and anything else is projection into an imagined future, nostalgia for a long gone past, or an irritating distraction from full presence. I practiced and felt the waves settle, I am practicing again tonight to really calm that sea of turbulence and I will become mindful of my inner and outer worlds no matter what. Anger begets anger, judgement begets judgment, hatred creates more hatred and a lack of self awareness means it’s all the more challenging to recognise any of that s**t!
Add in clean food, a ton of juicing and superfoods (if necessary) and just watch yourself rise straight back up to your true compassionate, wise and tender self. We don’t need to aspire to perfection, only improvement. It’s a measurable thing…we know when we are changing because it feels different – we suddenly realise we have responded differently and this is like strengthening a core muscle – it’s a good feeling to aspire to be a good human.
Make mindful practice part of your daily habits and it will eventually become you rather than you trying to become it! Let me know how you all get on in the comments below xox