I remember my Spiritual Director talking of mindfulness, without actually using the word, over 20 years ago. A wise old Catholic priest, he called it the Sacrament of the Present Moment. He advised me to read a book by the same name by a Jesuit Priest, Jean-Pierre de Caussade. In Catechism we learnt that a sacrament is ‘an outward sign of inward grace’. And truly the present moment can be a sacrament – because grace abounds, we just have to plug in to it.
I never did get my hands on the book, but I did attempt to understand what my Spiritual Director advised me to do. Learn to focus on the present moment and let it speak to me.
Called To Be Authentically Mindful
With mindfulness being the buzzword today, I often see that it is easy to confuse it with some feel-good, positive mumbo-jumbo.
Mindfulness is not some wonderful calm state of mind with piped music playing in the background. I wish it was.
No. Mindfulness is all about being aware. And awareness is all about being authentic.
indfulness is not trying to wish away what is going on in your life.
No. Mindfulness is about being present to all that going on in life.
The present moment is likely to be bring pain, confusion, uncertainty and dark emotions.
Mindfulness helps you to focus on these and deal with them.
It helps you ask the difficult questions. What part of me needs to be healed? Am I using being busy as an escape from what I really need to deal with in my life?
Mindfulness is not some facile ‘happiness potion’. It’s pretty darn hard work, like anything else in life that matters. It demands courage.
Do you agree with my idea of mindfulness?
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Oh absolutely! Mindfulness requires work and focus. It’s not a happiness potion – though it can make you calmer and more content as you focus on the present moment. It can also remind you of the beauty that is around you in even the toughest moments.
Oh yes. Mindfulness is anything but easy. It takes a lot of work. I have been so stressed at work that I was almost losing sleep over it. But trying to practice being mindful has helped me to deal with it better. I know things are not quite right at work and I’m learning to accept that and act on that. All of this needs conscious efforts and awareness which is not achieved easily. It is hard work because I know even I’m not there yet.
Absolutely I agree! It really has made a huge difference to my world and the way you describe it here is so well said! #mg
Totally agree with you, Corinne. Mindfulness is all about being aware of life. Aware of your mind, aware of your emotions, aware of your mistakes, aware of your nature, aware of your relationships, aware of your pains …… and more aware of your breaths authentically. I love being mindful. Thanks Corinne for this powerful profound post.
Vinay Leo R.
I agree. It is difficult to be mindful, especially when the thoughts wander from one thing to the other every moment. It’d be good to focus and be aware of one thing, yes. 🙂
totally agree with you Corinne, Mindfulness is anything but being calm, it’s rather a hard work to keep your focus and that only makes you calm inside. It reminds me of Master Oogway from Kungfu Panda!
I do. I agree with your idea of mindfulness. Mindfulness for me is when I am on the verge of getting enraged by some act of the kid and I am able to check it and nip it in the bud. This helps preventing an emotional scene. But, it is not easy. I wish it would have been then so much drama could be avoided.
I do agree with your version of mindfulness… I have asked myself many times in life, rather commented .. oh this is what jealousy feels like, oh this is what being left alone feels like..
I have addressed the pain, consoled myself whenever that was needed.
. Especially when all the deep feelings got camouflaged by anger or irritation..
I have stopped being angry when the real emotion was sadness or jealousy… I have learnt that 🙂
Alana - Burnished Chaos
I totally agree with this, and you have explained it in such a clear way too. I try hard to be more mindful every day but it is extremely hard x
Its a real deal for me as I still need to learn to respond not react to some situations, which are not under my control. I need to go a long way. You have mentioned a complicated thing so neatly.