February 12, 2022

As we continue to experience a lot of pressures our lives – spiralling inflation, easing of pandemic restrictions (scary thought!), a divisive political climate, looming escalation of Russian aggression, raising kids, caring for elder parents and so on, I am finding mindfulness an absolute necessity now more than ever. Not only to deal with all the above, but also to help fend off any thoughts I might still have to numb myself with alcohol.

We are all busy thinking about yesterday and busy planning for tomorrow. When we focus on the past and future, we aren’t paying a lot of attention to the present—where we are right now. Mindfulness is an invitation to step out of the clutter and really focus on what we are doing, thinking, and feeling in this moment.

What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of being. It’s also a skill developed by deciding to slow down and taking the time to pay attention and be curious about things we’re experiencing and things that we see around us. Each of us can be mindful—we just don’t do it often.
Mindfulness comes from Buddhism, but it can be as religious or non-religious as you’d like.

The 3 “ACA” mindfulness tactics to work on are: attention, curiosity, and acceptance. Attention means that we are aware of things in and around us;
Curiosity means exploring without judgment; and,
Acceptance means embracing the present moment as it is, both the good and the bad.

What can mindfulness look like?
Eat a meal without distractions like TV or any other devices. Go for a walk and set out to really pay attention to the environment around you. Take a minute to sit quietly with eyes shut and focus on the sensation of your breath. Find what ACA strategy works for you.

Mindfulness can help us look at our own lives more clearly. It can help develop a different relationship with our experiences and it can give us space to look at problems from all perspectives, without getting tangled in difficult thoughts or feelings that only make us feel worse.

“The past is already gone; the future is not yet here.
There’s only one moment for you to live.” — Buddha

May Your Anchor Hold

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