Mindfulness Activity #175
Rolling with Change…
There is a difference between noticing something and being mindful. Being mindful involves noticing as something happens (not making sense of your experience afterwards) and it involves noticing without judgment. It’s often the noticing without judgment part that is the most challenging.
I woke up today and opened the door to find a bright sunny day. The air was cold and I had the observation that summer has passed and fall is beginning. I would be lying if I told you that I don’t prefer a warm sunny, summer morning to a cool fall morning. But, it’s also true that this morning, there was no judgment about fall. In fact, I was excited for fall AND sad to see summer go. This is what mindfulness can do. It allows us to quickly notice a preference, without getting stuck in resentment of judgment. When this happens, it makes way for new positive experiences and feelings.
If you are hungry and you have not gone shopping, you might decide to have cereal for dinner. If you berate yourself for not shopping, or tell yourself cereal isn’t a decent meal, you will eat your meal resentfully and probably be unsatisfied. On the other hand, if you are gentle with yourself and think, “fortunately there is milk and cereal,” the chances are that you will enjoy a damn good bowl of cereal. You will be full, have eaten something with good nutrition, and you will be satisfied. It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have preferred roasted chicken and potatoes. It just means you didn’t let your preference for chicken interfere with the meal available to you.
Today’s practice is to take in something without judgment…
See if you can find something that you would prefer to be different (e.g., social isolation, school, things you need to do this week). When you have identified your preference, just note it.
Now, click this link for a series of quiet bells…
When each bell rings, think about what is available to you. Is there any silver lining to any of the things you do not prefer? Each time you hear a bell ring, take a deep breath and stay focused on your acceptance practice.
Acceptance does not mean you need to like everything. But, acceptance requires that you don’t spend all your time saying to yourself or telling your friends how much you don’t like reality or some specific part of it. Embrace change, embrace the present…challenging as it may be.
May you be peaceful!