Welcome to Your Mindful Life. I’m truly grateful for your time and interest.
So why would you want a mindful life? Well, maybe you want to tame your impulsiveness, or find more clarity and focus? Maybe you want to have a better relationship with your kids, your partner, your boss, or just feel more at ease with people? Maybe you want to stop living in a state of expectation? Maybe you want to start feeling gratitude for what you’ve already got? Maybe you’d like to extract yourself from a habit or three? Maybe - just maybe - you’d like to show up for this one wild and precious life of yours*?
If so, then maybe you need to find your mindful life. Why? Because mindful awareness is a game-changer. It will teach you how to untangle yourself from the debilitation of a distracted mind; how to respond rather than react to events as they arise. It will teach you the value of its practice, and it’s art: the practice of detachment, discernment and determination; the art of waking up to the reality of what is*.
The intention of this blog is to simply explore how your mindful life is already here; how it’s available; how it's a genuine, authentic, open-hearted thing, as opposed to being some hippy-dippy, chilled-out thang; how it has emerging science to support its practice; how it can truly facilitate a sense of your own wellbeing; how it has an ethical dimension to it that encourages you to take that sense of well-being and turn it outward and direct it toward the wellbeing of others. Because there is no point in committing yourself to this unless you want it to be of service to others. And I’m not saying that in some holier than thou way (at least I hope not). I’m saying it to mean that you have no choice here: that a key element in your well-being is the journey outward. To not only be with what arises for you but to be with what arises for others too. And you’ve got to do it with the right attitude: with kindness, curiosity, compassion. Those three are good, for starters.
Another intention is to explore the mindful life of practitioners, teachers and influencers: to get to know the story of how they came to be in a wiser relationship with the present moment; how they manage to sustain the practice and art. Because that’s what I struggle with: the non-judgemental attentiveness, the kindness, the curiosity, the self-compassion, the letting go, the taking my meds, the trying, failing, and trying - again and again and again - until you try and fail better. That’s what's at the heart of your mindful life. That’s what I’m on a quest for. But it’s also what I need help with. Which leads me to an invitation: perhaps we can try and fail together? Maybe explore your mindful life as a joint quest? After all, a quest is an adventure, an unfolding narrative; so why not set ourselves the quest of understanding - or at least getting closer to understanding - how it is we go about being kinder to ourselves; how we cultivate acceptance rather than thinking we have to fix stuff; how we nurture an attitude that experiences struggle as perplexing, but also perfection? Does that make sense to you? Does it appeal? Is it worthwhile? I think it is. Although there is a caveat: don’t rely on me to have the answers. I’m just taking it one moment at a time. I’m just sharing what it’s like to try and fail, and start over again: as a parent, partner, mindfulness teacher, school teacher, freelancer.
Like I said, your mindful life is here. It's available. It's happening now. Plus, there's no cost: you just have to be able to breathe, stay in the present moment, and relinquish any pretence at expertise. You just have to commit to reframing experience as it presents itself to you. As your mindfulness teacher might say: it’s that simple, it’s that hard.
The question is: do you want to claim it?
If you do, then I’d love to hear from you. Hear your story. Connect.
So welcome again.
Let's see where this takes us.
* Read Mary Oliver’s beautiful poem here
* Eknath Easwaran calls it the practice of detachment, determination and discrimination. For more on this read 'Conquest of the Mind’ by Eknath Easwaran. He dedicates a chapter to each of these essential attitudes. https://www.amazon.com/Conquest-Mind-Thoughts-Medi..
* The art of accepting 'what is' comes from a number of teachers. I recommend Shinzen Young, The Science of Enlightenment: how meditation works, https://www.amazon.com/Science-Enlightenment-How-M... as well as this from Krishnamurti: Meditation is not something different from daily life... it is the seeing of what is and going beyond it.
Taken from the introduction to Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti