As Thanksgiving draws every closer, let’s take a look at ‘mindfulness’. Traditionally it is a time when families get together and celebrate. Or as one British radio presenter once said about the Christmas and Easter holidays ~ “It is a time when one half of the nation travels to visit the other half of the nation for a free meal.”
It is a time of renewal and fun, of remembering the good things and some of the bad, but once the day is over and you hit the shops, what then?
‘Mindfulness’ differs from ‘instant’ in as much both are intentional, but mindfulness entails a deeper sense of deliberation. Preparation, if you like, of letting what you notice really sink into you’re your psyche.
Mindfulness is often defined as "the state of being attentive to, and aware of what is taking place in the present.” But is that enough?
It’s all very well to be present in the moment. Goodness knows, we have to do that 24/7. But when you combine it with meditation it becomes more meaningful, more intense and subsequently offers greater rewards of inner revelations.
Instead of sighing with exasperation ‘because (a fictional) Aunt Maude is always complaining’, take a moment out and wonder WHY she’s always complaining. Does she have a valid point? Is she seeking attention, or does it give her a vicarious kind of pleasure? Once you have an idea of the cause behind the effect you can be more mindful towards her situation and actions. You may not feel any more tolerant about them, but underneath it all is a glimmer of understanding that goes a long way to defuse the growing angst the woman always manages to create when in her presence.
What about you? Perhaps others are judging you in a similar way you are judging Aunt Maude. When did you take time out to become ‘mindful’ about your own actions and their root causes?
Meditating on ‘mindfulness’ is not an easy meditation, and not one to pursue if it creates too great a personal stress level for you to deal with. What I would ask you to do, especially if you only try it once, is to write down the content of your meditation and perhaps re-visit and re-read it again in six months time. Not only will you be mentally prepared to read the content, the very fact you’ve chosen to, indicates you are ready to move on to a new level of self awareness.
Here’s wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving. May you enjoy it even more from a new perspective of ‘mindfulness’.