Many of us believe we can still our own minds just by willing it or distracting ourselves from our worries, often with destructive habits e.g. addictions, procrastination, denial, blaming others. Yet we train our body for marathons, we study for exams and we prepare for important presentations.
So, why do we let our minds run around like wild three year olds at a birthday party? The answer is simple. We either lack the skills to quiet (train) our minds or we have not committed to a practice that cultivates those skills.
A quiet mind allows us to see more clearly, gives us options when we believe we have none and helps us notice the richness in our life. But most important, we become grateful for simply being alive, rough edges and all.
Were it not for my decades of “often imperfect” mindfulness meditation practice, coping with the end of life of both my parents simultaneously would be virtually impossible. Along with my wish to spend as much quality time with them as possible, come the logistics of emergency rooms, hospitals, setting up palliative care, financial issues and running my own household, going to work and taking care of myself so that I can be there for those who need me. Daunting tasks, yes. Easy because I practice? Definitely not. But, as I stay in the moment, I realize I have more inner strength than I ever imagined. I really am capable of even this.
My challenges are no more important than yours. Anybody, in any circumstance, can practice mindfulness; millions do. The best time to learn how to practice and get started is NOW. If the present moment finds you comfortable, relaxed and happy with your current situation, now is a good time to build your mental resources for the future. If, on the other hand, you are currently overwhelmed by all your life’s activities, it is also a good place to learn how to be gentler with yourself nourishing your need for calm centeredness.
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
Do something good for yourself. Learn to meditate.
Contact The MindSpace Clinic (514 481-0317) for our upcoming schedules and fees. Dr. Joe Flanders and I (Kersti Sunne Biro) guide Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) sessions on an on-going basis at The Queen Elizabeth Health Complex.