When it comes to doing anything new, or old for that matter, the first step is always the hardest. When we are running around in constant motion, we have to take pause, so that we can rejuvenate, change direction, and start a new path. Being mindful is not about what we are doing, but how we are doing it.
"The Best Time of My Life is Now" - Deepak Chopra
Last Friday, I and other members of The Living Well Team went to a Mindfulness Training with Dr. Henry Gregory and his wife Jannette M. Gregory, LCSW-C. One of the things that really stood out to me was this explanation of being present (Paraphrase from Dr. Gregory):
Living in the future = Anxiety
Living in the Past = Depression
Living in the Present = Happiness
If we are always thinking about what is to come, or what happened in the past, how can we really allow ourselves to move into a place where we can decide what we truly want from our lives?
The Only Way Out Is Through
The 16th verse of the Yoga Sutras is "Heyam dukam anagatam," which means "any future pain can and must be avoided." Depending on your mindset, you may think that this means to avoid the things that cause you discomfort, when, in fact, it means quite the opposite. If we want to achieve optimal wellness and success, we must get uncomfortable sometimes. If we achieve the ability to be completely present, our concept of pain changes. We learn to show gratitude, compassion, and have patience throughout such experiences.
Pull The Trigger
When we are stressed and overwhelmed, molehills become mountains. How do we move through the discomfort and avoid the pain of the future? First, by being present we take away anxiety's hold over us. Second, we do regular self-care, so that we heal trauma and toxic stress. Trauma occurs when we experience an event that we are unable to deal with emotionally. When another experience reminds of the original event, we are "triggered" and re-live it all over again. If we have not dealt with the feelings from the original event, we may shut down, start a fight, or run away from the situation. This is why it is so important that we do the work. Otherwise, we are caught in a destructive cycle of pain, hurt, and disappointment.
Let Go and Let's Grow
Once we have done the work to live in the present moment, we are able to release the anxiety that we associate with the unknown, and the disappointment that we had for things not going well for us in the past. This frees us up to achieve whatever we desire to attain. Because we are no longer held back by our fears, we are free to soar above the clouds.
Photos by Fluffy Pop Postcards