“Mindfulness? Are you kidding? The last place I want to be is the present moment!”
Updated: May 8, 2022
Copyright © 2022 Christoph Spiessens
“Christoph… I hear great things about Mindfulness, but apparently it’s about constantly bringing your attention back to the present moment. Well, let me tell you, Chris, the last thing I want is to be in the present moment! Shit is happening all around me, my life is falling apart and I want to be anywhere BUT the present moment.”
I can really understand why you would assert that.
After all, your present moment appears to be full of fear, troubles and difficulty.
And that’s precisely why Mindfulness is so helpful.
The “now” that you experience is not happening now. You are likely to spend much of your “now” ruminating about the past or worrying about the future.
Sure, maybe that’s because of what’s happening in your life now, but it’s still a perceived now. And you can reposition yourself to it.
Because your now is an interpretation -your version- of what’s going on, no matter how significant the event(s), your “now” is a mental interpretation of the situation. I’m not saying it’s not painful. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t be upset. You’re not a robot. Having feelings is part of the human condition.
What I am saying, however, is that by practicing Mindfulness, you have an option to take the needle off the autopilot of your mind.
Yes, Life is happening to you (and for you!), but Mindfulness can help you cultivate calm by bringing yourself back to the now moment. Not the now full of pain, but the now filled with self-compassion, focus and presence.
“OK – sounds cute. But what does that mean. Like, REALLY?”
Well, are you ready to face it? In this moment, you’re not IN the present moment. You’re consumed by what happened the other day or what might happen tomorrow. Truth is, that’s not the present moment.
The present moment is just what it is: The present moment. If you are willing to strip back the layers and layers of thinking about the adversity, you can arrive at a point of calmness. Again, this is not to deny what’s going on, but to remind you that the mind has a funny (read: awful) way of trying to make sense of things. That’s one of the reasons you overthink.
When you practice Mindfulness, however, you bring your attention back to the present moment; the ACTUAL present moment, without the overthinking. And that’s where you can find -and enjoy- the stillness you need to transcend the diversity you’re dealing with.
Imagine a block of ice with a beautiful diamond inside: You can’t access the diamond without letting the ice melt first. Mindfulness does exactly that. It melts the ice, until you can access your diamond – the present moment.
And that stillness… really is a gem indeed.