Welcome to the final instalment of my Mindfulness Journey.
How can we appreciate what we have?
As you read this blog, notice how your eyes move from word to word without any conscious effort; how they go at the right pace for you to pick up the information. The world comes to you through your eyes and other senses. How much would you miss out on if you lost your eyesight? So, you appreciate your eyesight.
Next time you take a drink of water, savour the first sip. Move the water around your mouth and then swallow. Notice how it relieves your dryness.
Next time you’re eating a meal, savour the first mouthful, your tongue does the tasting, your teeth do the chewing, and notice how the food slips down your throat to swallow. It’s a wonder and you need to appreciate it.
We take so much of life for granted, there is so much wonder outside the reality space. Remember, the reality space is the gap between the reality that is, and the reality you want.
We must appreciate our life even in our darkest hours, when it seems the entire world is maximizing our distress and is driving us to exhaustion.
At these times remember your breath. Your breath is there for you as an anchor. It’s like a friend, reminding you that you are okay as you are.
Take a deep breath, hold, exhale slowly through the mouth.
To appreciate something is to recognize its value. All our valued things will eventually be lost in the future. This is a fact of life. So, as long as we are alive, we need to appreciate all that we have, temporarily.
Is the secret of appreciation NOT to look beyond the present?
I’m not so sure. Past and Future have a place in our reality. Although it’s a fact that your consciousness is in the Present and the reality that counts most is in the Present, the past does influence the present and the future is a need that is essential to present morale. So, although the present is the most important, the other two are needed also. We should appreciate all three.
I appreciate the fact that my Mindfulness training has taught me, “How To Feel Good Again”.
I feel good because I now understand that I can live with painful thoughts as long as I separate from them. I am free to reach out for positive thoughts.
I now understand that all the moments in my life are CHOICE POINTS. I have a choice of ATTITUDE. After you ask yourself these questions you should come to a decision about what choice to make about your feelings.
How do I feel about this situation?
How would I like to feel about this?
How do I choose to feel about this?
How do I feel about this NOW?
I also have a choice of ACTION.
What am I doing about this situation?
What would I like to do about this?
What do I choose to do about this?
What am I going to do about this NOW?
I want to reinforce my Defusion and Acceptance skills. I will try to live in the Here and Now. And maybe Resignation has a part to play…
A word about Resignation:
A woman I met at the U3A (University of the Third Age) told me how she used resignation to counter her anxiety feelings concerning her husband’s illness, it also could be used if you, yourself, had an illness.
What is Resignation? It’s the reluctant acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable.
She thought, “Why my husband? Why my family? Why, why, why!
Fighting her anxiety feelings was making her physically sick. So neither her or her husband could enjoy the time they had left. She decided to accept the grim reality of her husband’s illness and all the debilitation that went with it plus the care that also went with it.
What did this mindset of resignation do for her?
Her anxiety feelings and bad thoughts were lifted and she felt her mental pain was gone and the struggle with destructive feelings over.
She realized it was her thoughts about her husband’s illness that was creating her emotional disturbance, NOT the illness itself. By accepting the illness her physical and mental storm became much calmer.
With resignation, she accepted the predicament and both her and her husband began to live each day to the fullest possible under the circumstances. Each day was like a new lifetime!
Acceptance is the willingness to have the bad thoughts and feelings as they come and go, but the struggle isn’t there.
Stop wasting your energy and turn off the struggle switch.
By defusing from the anxiety thoughts and feelings. Separate yourself from them. Don’t give them much attention.
Defuse—“I’m having that anxiety feeling in my abdomen.”
“I’m noticing I’m having that feeling again in my abdomen.”
“I’m accepting the feeling but I’m not struggling with it.”
“I’m separated from it”
Live in the Here and Now!
If you were asked, what’s the best time of your life and you answered, “NOW”, you’ve arrived at a moment of insight. When we are fused on bad thoughts and feelings, we miss out on enjoying and appreciating life.
So, here we are, at the conclusion of my Mindfulness journey
Lets summarize the basics:
ACCEPT your thoughts and feelings and be in the Present.
CONNECT with your Values.
TAKE EFFECTIVE ACTION in line with your values.
My Top Values:
ACCEPTANCE: to be open and accepting of myself and others.
ASSERTIVENESS: to respectfully stand up for my rights and request what I want.
COMPASSION: to act with kindness toward myself and others.
COURAGE: to go forward in the face of fear or difficulty.
HUMOUR: to see and appreciate the funny side of life.
MINDFULNESS: to be conscious of and open to, the Present experience.
RESPONSIBILITY: to be accountable for my actions.
SELF-AWARENESS: to be aware of my thoughts, feelings, and actions and defuse from the negative ones.
SELF-CARE: to look after my health and get my needs met.
SUPPORTIVENESS: to be supportive, helpful and encouraging to myself and others.
LOVING: to act affectionately toward myself and others.
I try to follow each value but I sometimes fall short! I’m only human.
If your problems can be solved, take action.
It your problems can’t be solved, accept and defuse from them.
No matter what difficulty you encounter, there are two courses of action:
Take Action to improve it or resign yourself to it.
What’s in your control?
Your Attention and Your Actions.
You act in accordance with your values, because your values are reflections of what is important to you, what is meaningful to you, and they provide direction in your life.
Last important thought to remember:
APPRECIATE what you have in your life right now, because NOW, is the ONLY time you ever have!