The challenge today is to stop losing touch with ourselves in the sea of opportunities, enrichments and solicitations brought by the digital world.
More than ever we must take action to keep our life under control.
Life is a wonderful gift that is so difficult to enjoy fully when all is good.
Mindfulness as taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn is just about that: enjoying your life instead of running towards your death.
You will find tons of information if you google his name. I listened to him on a podcast of On Being, one of my favorite radio shows hosted by Krista Tippet.
Mindfulness is about being in the moment.
Easier said than done!
The best role model is your dog for that! Dogs have this ability to be in the here and now all the time. Is that because they are limited intellectually? Is that because they don’t have a mind the way we do? Maybe.
What Mr. Kabat-Zinn says is that it is possible for us if we allow ourselves to meditate regularly even for a few moments. Meditation is a big word so he prefers awareness. I do too, because meditation has always sounded to me very boring.
In the video below I love one of the metaphors Jon Kabat-Zinn uses to explain what he means: imagine your mind with the multiple thoughts that sail through it as the top of the ocean. When the mind is bustling, waves are huge. If you drop under water, huge waves above are just a gentle move below. Choosing awareness gives the same feeling: it slows the pace and quiets the mind.
It gives an opportunity to reflect on how we feel in our mind and body on a regular basis.
The closer we are to our feelings the quicker we can make adjustments to our life because we can view things from a distance.
As far as I am concerned I try to do it every hour, hoping that it will eventually become automatic.
The simple advice Mr. Kabat-Zinn gives to beginners, is to pay attention to our breathing. Interestingly when I place my awareness there, not only it stops all wandering thoughts, but it also highlights the tensions in my body. All of sudden I realize the discomfort of my posture. It is amazingly relaxing because instinctively I move to relieve all tensions.
I have not reached the stage where I can apply this in my interaction with others, but I believe that it is a matter of time and practice.
So this is my New Year resolution: mindfulness
You can watch this rather long video where Jon Kabat-Zinn showed at Google the benefits of being versus doing.