Mindfulness – Mindful Presence
We are continuously interpreting our experience – both the inner and the outer – and this interpretation generally serves as our foundation for understanding, action and reaction. This interpreting (categorizing, judging and evaluating) takes place to a large degree unconsciously – that is to say without our awareness; by default; on autopilot. This autopilot is the foundation of much (most/all) of the suffering and discontent in our lives – our stress, overwhelm, conflict, anger, impatience, fear, worry, anxiety, depression, loneliness, feelings of unworthiness, guilt, shame, etc.
We never suffer because of the events in our lives (even if they are painful), but instead because of our interpretations. For many of us, however, it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between the two, thus separating the inner interpretation from the outer world. Distinguishing what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell from what we think about it. Distinguishing the object, person or event from our concept of it/them.
Mindful awareness allows us to perceive ourselves from a more objective position – we become aware of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. And it also allows us to perceive other persons/beings, events and happenings from a more objective position. This gives us the space to move out of reactivity and into understanding and sustainable action.
Developing an ability to be mindfully aware is the best tool we can have to cut through mental noise and the restrictive conditioning of our mind. Our mental and behavioral habits move more and more into conscious awareness where they can be seen and understood for what they are – only mental and behavioral habits, that have no inherent truth value per se. If they are helpful and healing they strengthen, if they are not they fade in the light of our awareness.
Mindful awareness as a tool to distinguish the interpretation (personal reality) from the outer world (collective reality) is the doorway into understanding and resolving conflict, deepening relationships and improving the quality of our lives. This doorway leads from feelings of stress, overwhelm, conflict, anger, fear, worry, anxiety, loss of control, etc.. into a sense of well-being, connection, and joy.