Welcome back to Mindfulness Monday! As you know if you’ve been following my blog, I’ve been going through the book Mindfulness, An Eight-Week Plan For Finding Peace In A Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman and sharing my journey through the meditations here. Although this is Week Six in this blog series, it’s only Week Five in the book.
This week’s focus in the book was “Turning Toward Difficulties.” My process through the book has been to read the chapter then do the meditations and habit releasers recommended each week. This week, after reading about the Exploring Difficulty meditation and learning about some of the troubling reactions one could have to it, I decided that at this point, I’m just not ready to do this.
In the article Mindfulness Is the Hottest New Trend — But Should It Be?, Tchiki Davis, Ph.D pointed out that mindfulness meditation could be counter-productive for some people, and this is just my personal opinion, but the issues addressed in this chapter and following might be better suited to an in-residence program such as the one the authors developed where there is psychological help available should problematic reactions arise. So….although my Mindfulness journey doesn’t end here, my journey through the book will.
I’ve learned a lot from the book, and I will continue to use the meditations I’ve been doing so far. As I said last week, I don’t know how much progress I’ve made toward learning to relax, which was my original goal, but I do enjoy having that block of time where I can focus on something other than what’s next – I can just be in the moment rather than feeling I always need to be doing something. This has been a big help to me because I’m naturally a Type-A personality, and being limited by my fibromyalgia sometimes has caused an endless amount of frustration for me. By taking the time to slow my mind down from its frantic pace and giving myself permission to just sit quietly, I am becoming more accepting of my limitations and learning that it’s really okay to do nothing sometimes.
Mindfulness is not just about meditation though – it’s about being fully present, being completely aware from moment-to-moment, experiencing what’s happening now without immediately judging it. One of my devotionals, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, summed up perfectly what mindfulness helps us avoid. Yesterday’s devotion talked about how people sometimes “walk through a day that is brimming with beauty and brightness, seeing only the grayness of their thoughts.” By being fully aware, we give ourselves the opportunity to experience that beauty and brightness that is all around us if we just take the time to look.
Many thanks to all of you who have supported me through this journey and helped me stay accountable. You are all such a blessing to me and I couldn’t have done it without you!