madness and mindfulness: what gives? [video]
We talk a lot in yoga-related convos about learning to simply be present. We talk a lot about learning to watch our mind, and the thoughts racing through—and through this watching, find the distance between our true selves, and our thoughts. Why? So we don’t go crazy.
Thoughts and overthinking—rehashing the past, worrying about the future—can drive us nuts. We can literally live most of our lives caught up in the past and future, and never enjoying the present. This isn’t a radical statement. Everyone from Oprah to Thich Nhat Hanh has said something similar along the way.
Why do they all keep repeating it? Because practicing being present, practicing mindfulness is damn hard work. Case in point: during my morning walking meditation, I was about five blocks in when I realized I was deep in an imaginary heated convo. Five blocks of ranting, rather than noticing. But what a relief to have caught it! The old me would have continued that convo at random intervals throughout the rest of my entire day. What a waste of energy.
An even better bonus: At the exact moment I realized I was completely not honouring the intention of my walk, I looked up to see a brilliant cherry tree, absolutely full to the brim with soft pink petals. Some were scattering on the breeze, tiny blessings floating down to the earth. I would have completely missed that.
Thanks universe, I hear ya, loud and clear.
Here, some tips from Thich Nhat Hanh on practicing mindfulness.
Side note: Why is it called mindfulness, when practicing it actually gets you out of the thoughts in your mind. Anyone?