You know that thing that you really should be addressing but, somehow, you’re just not getting around to it? No don’t run away, let’s just have a little look at the…
You know that thing that you really should be addressing but, somehow, you’re just not getting around to it? No don’t run away, let’s just have a little look at the situation for a moment, I promise it won’t hurt.
Probably, one of the main reasons that you’re not getting around to it is that thinking about it stresses you out so, naturally, you keep it shut away somewhere in your mind where it’s not so easily accessible.
“I’ve got this cupboard, ” said my client pointing vaguely inward. “It’s where I keep things that I don’t want to think about.”
“Most of us have a cupboard like that,” I reply coming to a halt. We don’t talk and walk so if things come up we tend to stop for a few moments and take in the view.
“For some people it’s a tiny locked safe, for others it’s a cupboard with just a few things in and for some it’s a whole room stacked floor to ceiling with a hoard of unfinished business.”
“Just a few things,” she says and we move off again heading for the top of the mountain.
The exercise for the walk has been to ground the awareness in the most fundamental feeling of being alive. Then, keeping awareness of the internal living experience, expanding the feeling outwards until it takes in both the internal and the external world and the beautiful nature we are walking through.
This is mindfulness walking and from this perspective, all the judgements and stories that we attach to ourselves and all the beliefs we harbour about who we are and what we are capable of unfold in awareness and come and go like the wind in the trees or the atmosphere in the forest.
When the clutter of the psyche is experienced this way, it’s not so much that we dissociate from them but, rather we cease to allow them to define us and we start to experience them as fluid and malleable. And as we mindfully walk with them, the old patterns lose their stickiness and new possibilities emerge in their place.
Mindfulness is not disassociation; it’s not about disconnecting from uncomfortable feelings or memories, instead it’s about being with them without attachment and developing a meta-perspective from which we can acknowledge everything in it’s correct context.
On arriving at the summit my client smiled and spread her arms wide in that way that people spontaneously seem to do on mountaintops as if throwing open the cupboard doors and allowing the light of awareness to shine in.
Mindfulness often means that very few words are needed and nature does the rest.
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