This is the 6th instalment of my Mindfulness journey.
The lesson started off with telling me about something that was at the core of my being. It’s always present when I’m not engaged with my “thinking” mind. Your Healthy Functioning is where your common sense and wisdom lies, plus your feeling of wholeness and your satisfaction in life. I was feeling good just thinking I had this wonderful thing at my CORE.
This Healthy Functioning gives you mental equilibrium and buoyancy. It sees beyond your difficult circumstances.
But when you’re fused with bad thoughts it gets buried and disappears from you mind. You need to ACCEPT bad thoughts and your difficult circumstances. Then as the negative thoughts are dismissed and you separate from them, your equilibrium will return.
This Healthy Functioning is NOT concerned with what happens in your life, it is concerned with How You Relate to what happens. You have to take your extreme attention off your problems and allow your mind to rest. Using your Healthy Functioning allows you to see things differently and make productive decisions.
Your Healthy Mind Functioning can help when trying to cope with your illness or an illness of a loved one. It’s how you think about the illness that creates your emotional disturbance, not the illness itself.
Of course you don’t like or want to deal with the painful parts of life but when they come you have to be able to cope. Thoughts come and go, but when faced with illness you feel angry and frustrated.
The important thing is how you relate to the difficulties. You must face the truth. When someone hears regrettable news about their health or a loved one’s, you must tap into your Healthy Mind Functioning. It will tell you what to do, such as accept your predicament and live each day to the fullest. Your Healthy Functioning helps you not to become panicked and frustrated with self-pitying thoughts. It won’t take away the illness but it will make you feel better about it.
In the midst of physical and mental suffering you know there will be times when your mind is clear and you are free to enjoy your present. In this session I was reminded that life is nothing more than a constant series of present moments to be experienced one after another.
You must appreciate the moment, you have no time to lose. You realize the present is the only time you have to live, so enjoy. Whenever we fuse with negative thoughts, we stiffen up, we make ourselves experience the bad effects of those thoughts and to feel the destructive emotions tied to them.
But, and this is a BIG BUT, when we learn to dismiss and separate ourselves from the bad thought we begin to feel better. So you have to enjoy the present as best you can. Remember the NOW is all anyone has.
Now, we get to the nitty gritty, the principles to develop flexibility in your mind. The greater your flexibility the better you can cope with painful thoughts and feelings.
DEFUSION—Separate, defuse and dismiss your bad thoughts, they are just words and pictures. Allow them to come and go without fighting or running from them.
Example of the Defusion process:
Put your bad thought in a sentence:
“I’m fearful of the future and my anxiety feelings.”
Now, replay the thought with this phrase in front:
“I’m having the thought, that I’m fearful of the future and my anxiety feelings.”
Replay the thought again but add this phrase:
“I notice I’m having the thought, that I’m fearful of the future and my anxiety feelings.”
“I felt a separation, a distance from the thought.”
“It lost some of its sting.”
“It didn’t bother me so much the last time.”
“It was as though I dismissed it.”
“I feel better already!”
Live In The Present—Bring awareness to your here-and-now. Focus and engage in whatever you are doing.
Values—What’s important to you, what do you want to stand for in this life?
Commit To Action—Take mindfulness action so you can cope with difficulties.
In conclusion: I learned to appreciate what I have right now, because NOW is the ONLY time I have. I have this moment, so I have to make the most of it.
Coming up: The final instalment of my Mindfulness Training. It’s titled,
Also published on Medium.
Thank you Dave. I know exactly what you are saying and it works for me most of the time. There are times when my thinking mind takes over and it takes a while before I can separate those thoughts and get back to the NOW. It’s a journey I take every single day. But I’m still here.
I am really enjoying this journey of the mind Dave
great journey of the mind Dave