This week in class we looked at how living in our heads can have an impact on our every day lives and how our habitual tendencies, conditioning and experiences from previous events can really effect how we see situations that arise.
You see someone you know walking down the street, you wave and smile but they just do not seem to notice you and walk past you.
We explored this scenario together and it became apparent that depending on our beliefs, conditioning, mood and past experiences, we interpret this situation rather differently. We can sometimes interpret this event obscurely and a contrast to how it actually is. Many of us have a tendency to overthink, add stories, avoid or completely misinterpret a situation and by doing this, it can cause distress, worry, rumination and catastrophizing.
When we practice mindfulness we can notice when our thoughts and interpretations can start to run away with us, we can feel this in our body and we can identify when we are not in the present moment. With this new found awareness, we have an opportunity to make space, step back and see an opportunity arise to make a choice to either allow the thoughts to control/ consume us or learn to let go of the thought and old belief systems and start to experience events just as they are without adding to them.
By exploring the body scan, we start to get in touch with sensations in our body and can bring an attitude of allowing and acceptance to this, we learn a new approach to our experience and by doing this, we can start to cultivate this attitude toward other aspects of life, learning to observe our experience just as it is, learning to allow the experience to be just as it is and learning to let go of any judgements or misinterpretations.
Many of us are conditioned to think of others before ourselves. We think by taking time for ourselves is selfish, many of us can be very hard on ourselves so I think it’s important to add here, we are all human and kindness and patience towards ourselves can make such a difference. It takes time to recognise habitual patterns of thinking, it takes effort and courage to accept this realisation and sometimes it can be extremely difficult to let go of our old ways of thinking. If anything was learnt in this session, I hope my participants can see that mindfulness can bring freedom, it can bring peace, it can bring to us realisations that may be difficult to bear but by exposure and learning we can let go of our old unhelpful ways of thinking and approaching situations which in turn will change our experiences.