Motivation and desire: the two necessary ingredients that create the butt glue to sit, breathe and cultivate the powerful and unseen, which can work in profound and powerful ways in our lives if we simply allow it to.
I like to think of my mindfulness practice as protection– I know that when I’m confused, frustrated, impatience, angry– this is the place I can go to find the answers. My practice reminds me that I need these things to progress on my path, and if I look at them with gratitude they will serve me well.
The shift begins when our practice shows us that what we normally consider obstacles, are actually opportunities. We stop looking at the “things” as the problem, but instead realize these are secondary. We gain the ability to distill the situation down to its real parts that always lead back to the same place– what is this showing me? Am I being to prideful, did I allow myself to feel impatient or angry? Basically, it begs the question: what do I need to reduce, then abandon?
Our life is a work in progress.
Mindfulness doesn’t happen from reading a book once about meditation and putting it back on the shelf. True mastery comes from looking at our lives as a work in progress until the day we take our last breath. Never stop growing and looking for more because our lives are not linear.
With a peak, eventually comes a valley.
I don’t believe in the “I’ve made it moment,” because that’s the danger-zone way of thinking. As soon as “you’ve made it,” pride has the tendency to rear it’s ugly head. Be careful, because it’s so easy to fall into the laziness trap of thinking that our conditions are so good. “This too shall pass,” can be applied not only the when times are tough hoping for them to pass swiftly, but also remind yourself of this when times are good too, because those will pass as well.
We need the icky stuff as fuel for our mindfulness practice and it’s usually what we get more often than the fuzzy, comfy stuff if you really think about it. Easier said than done especially when we experience tremendous trauma and loss, but it is truly during these times that our practice, or lack of one, is gently calling our name to come home.
When I fall off the mindfulness wagon, I try to think back to those times when my practice was strong and what my life was like at that time. When I reflect on this, I remember those little experiences– I remember little nuances like how my daily life was less stressful and criticisms rolled off my back. Those little moments are like my precious jewels. I try to hold them at my heart and remember that it’s because of my practice that I was able to experience these conditions.
Here’s the paradox– the events in my life didn’t change, the way I saw them did. As a result, the world became a more beautiful place.
If you need a little jump-start with your practice, this post will help remind you of the value in all those mornings you spent in reflection. It will help you to recall the moments that amazed you, because you could really see how being present was really working in your life.
Resist what is easy and comfortable. Without effort, we have no mindfulness. With effort, mindfulness is easy!