Living with Courage
Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying
attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally,
to things as they are.
—WILLIAMS, TEASDALE, SEGAL, AND KABAT-ZINN (2007)
Our aim with mindful work is to be more aware, more often. A powerful influence taking us away from being “fully present” in each moment is our automatic tendency to judge our experience as being not quite right in some way—that it is not what should be happening, not good enough, or not what we expected or wanted. These judgments can lead to sequences of thoughts about blame, what needs to be changed, or how things could or should be different. Often these thoughts will take us, quite automatically, down some fairly well-worn paths in our minds. In this way, we may lose awareness of the moment and also the freedom to choose what, if any, action needs to be taken.
We can regain our freedom of choice when and if, as a first step, we simply acknowledge the actuality of our situation, without immediately being hooked into automatic tendencies to judge, fix, or want things to be other than they are. The body scan exercise provides an opportunity to practice simply bringing an interested and friendly awareness to the way things are in each moment, without having to do anything to change things. There is no goal to be achieved other than to bring awareness to bear as the instructions suggest—specifically, achieving some special state of relaxation is not a goal of the exercise.
If you are ready to learn more, let me hear from you.
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