Sara’s first solo meeting with Greg, the mindfulness teacher that her friend Steve introduced her to, is off to a great start. She is nervous and jumpy. Her nerves are shot, she hasn’t slept, and all she wants to do is curl up and cry herself to sleep. But she’s here and Greg is looking her in her eyes. It’s unnerving. She fidgets and thinks to herself: “Does he have to look at me like that!”
Greg explains that mindfulness is about being fully aware of whatever is happening in the present moment, without filters or judgment. It cultivates awareness of the mind and body in the here and now. You are feeling what you are feeling – allow it to be. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, sensations, thoughts, etc. Acknowledge them. Give space for them to be.
Imagine you are a scientist inside your brain. You get to watch and observe everything that is happening in your body. As a scientist your job is only to observe not to judge or intervene. Allow the experiment to play out. You will see that we are often either “rehashing or rehearsing” (1). Rehashing things that have happened in the past or rehearsing for some unknown future. Rarely are we living the present moment.
Your task for the next week is to play the scientist whenever you can. Allow the thoughts, emotions and sensations to flow naturally and without intervention. Take notes in your journal. Do this at least once a day, but if you can, do it more often.