Friday, 5 May 2017

Mindfulness or Mindlessness?

I was having a fretful moment, well I say moment but I really mean day... my mind was like a bees nest or a tangled ball of nonsense. I was feeling anxious and a bit jittery as I was driving along to pick up my daughter from school and thought, I know! This is the perfect time to practice my mindfulness so I concentrated on the moment, felt the steering wheel under my hands, pulled my awareness out from the whirling maelstrom of my inner mind and bought my attention into the moment. I was really enjoying that moment too...until I realized that I had mindfully forgotten to pick up my daughter and driven all the way home! What an idiot! Not really mindful at all! 

So is mindfulness all it's cracked up to be? Well it has a time and a place. Sometimes it is nice to let the mind wander and really become the opposite of mindful. To become lost in a moment of nostalgia or in my case, to visit the inner mind space where I do my designing, or to day dream out the window. All that stuff is brilliant, it can be relaxing, or invigorating or creative. 

But what about planning things and organizing stuff. Deffinitely not  in the mindful zone of the ever present moment. No, there are times to avoid mindfulness, like when you have stuff to do...picking up the kids for example...(she says blushing)

Mindfulness is not a permanent state to strive for, its more like a tool you can use wisely. A perfect example of when I am mindful and it works for me is when I've picked the wrong checkout queue. Instead of getting lost in the angry thoughts of 'why didn't i pick that other queue?' or my general impatience and irritation getting the better of me, I can just think calmly, here I am, I'm warm, not dying or anything, it's pretty ok really... and that calms me right down.

Now is brilliant and we all need to get ourselves more present and awake in the moment, but having said that, it's totally ok to zone out and get lost in your thoughts, unless those thoughts are negative and making you worry or feel depressed. Then you got to pull yourself right into the moment and away from that scary land of ..'what if this horrible thing happens?'... or remembering a horrible thing that has already happened... that's just no use to anyone.

I found myself thinking, in graphic detail, what I would do if my car went off a bridge, into the water, with all the family in it...what exactly would I do? Well I know the answer because I've looked into what to do, because it is this deep irrational fear I have. I think about death a lot, especially since having children... But I suddenly realised that I'd been thinking about that and getting more agitated and running over the scenario again and again...that way lays madness! Pull it right back baby! 

So, my lovelies... have a wonderfully mindful weekend!

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