“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” (Many a person is attributed with this saying and variants upon it!)
As we practice being mindful, we are essentially increasing our awareness that the present moment is indeed what there is. We recall the past in the present, we project the future in the present.
When the present moment is rosy and sunny, it makes sense to want to be in that moment. Even to bask in it. Get out the deck chair, drink it in!
But what about when the present moment is far from wonderful? We may be feeling down, anxious, angry, unsettled, in pain . . . It is understandable that we want to get rid of these unpleasant emotions and sensations, to run away, to shut the door on them.
It is counter-intuitive but as we open ourselves to our unpleasant emotions and sensations – entertain them even with kindness and curiosity – sometimes they will dissipate.
Other times they won’t dissipate but by facing them we save the energy we have been wasting by fighting them!
We need to (gently) acknowledge what is. It is hard to do this. It can feel like cautiously opening a door we have fought to keep shut. It is however always a relief. And it is the strangest thing but in that respite from fighting there can be the beginnings of peace amidst what is.
This is Mindful Monday on 29 April 2019.
If you live in or near Cheltenham, join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer for an evening of mindfulness on the theme of ‘growing in self-control’ in a few weeks time on Tuesday 14 May 2019.