MINDFULNESS AS A MAP TO WORKING OUT WHO WE ARE AND WHERE THE HELL WE ARE GOING
Originally posted 2012
I have no hope of ever becoming enlightened. I like nice shoes way too much.
I have always struggled with the dichotomy of wanting to be peace, love and mung-beans with enjoying having a lovely glass of wine, appreciating beautiful clothes or seeing a trashy film. I have believed that these two parts of “me” were mutually exclusive……that I could not in fact meditate without dreadlocks or a shaved head. That a hairstyle would magically transform me into a spiritual being that was connected with all that “is”……that there was a direct hair link to the “powers that be”.
And so, I have flipped and flopped between being a tie-die-wearing hippy with a nose-ring and being a lipstick-wearing business women with a fancy handbag. My preferred coffee order demonstrated my internal struggle - really, what kind of person orders a single shot, soy, decaf latte? A person who really wanted to drink tea but drank coffee to go with the image.....
Eventually, I confessed to myself, that I wasn’t terribly comfortable in either of these guises and that maybe, just maybe – I was neither of them but was both of them…..And so began the very unsettling process of realising that I didn’t “fit” in any pre-established box and that I was actually required to build my own box. A box somewhere between spirituality and superficiality.
And so, after many many years of searching for something to help me on this journey, after hours of Sanskrit chanting, incense burning, expensive hand-bags, past life readings, kinesiology sessions and daydreaming about how a tattoo will change my life - I have finally found the answer for me.
In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn:
"It is impossible to become like somebody else. Your only hope is to become more fully yourself"
My map for making this discovery is called mindfulness.
I have developed this blog (and my website livmindfully.com) to provide some practical and accessible information regarding mindfulness for modern people to integrate into the reality of their lives. Into a life containing some or all of the following; wardrobe malfunctions, dirty diapers/nappies, spiritual awakenings, fat days (….weeks or months), bad takeaway pizza, complicated relationships, doing funny walks down the hallway to get your kid to follow you, mountains of washing to fold, yoga, challenging children, stressful careers, food guilt, demanding bosses, meditation, family vacations and totally irrational thoughts that feel so very real.
Mindfulness has changed my life, I sincerely hope it nourishes you too.