just a smidgen

A New Mindfulness

Turn on Instagram or any social media like Facebook and you’ll come across an abundance of articles, quotes and “thoughts for the day” on how to life a “better life”. I love posting my own, not to inspire {although it would be a blessing if they did} but as a reminder for myself. It’s my way of creating snapshots of lessons learned, progress I’ve made on my journey.

Some aphorisms have been posted so often that I’d been accepting them as truth on a surface level, without actually processing their meaning for my life. Like this quote, for instance:

I understand the gift of mindfulness and have tried to practice this, staying in the moment, fully aware and cognizant of the blessings inherent in that place and space in time.

This past weekend my personal understanding of mindfulness was expanded with a new view that I feel to be more true for me now, it goes something like this (loosely quoted from a lecture):

“The real definition of maturity is to live in the past, present and the future and to not choose one.”

David Whyte

I love having any core belief of mine challenged, pushing beyond boundaries and ideas that I’ve constructed based on someone else’s truth. This one really resonated for me. I now wonder that to be fully “present” might not only be having mindfulness in the moment, but also to be fully aware and embracing where we’ve come from and all that this does to inform both the present and the promise for our future. Our truth, perhaps, could exist in the integration of all three.

If experiences in the present can inform and change our perception of the past, just as it can transform our future possibilities, David also spoke about being the ancestor or steward for our future happiness. What choices could we make today that our future self would look back on and be thankful for? Imagine the potential for making different choices in the moment. Somehow I had the understand that being “present” was living almost hedonistically whilst fully embracing the moment without thought for the future. I know I have fluctuated between being fearful and closed-minded at times and impulsive at others when making decisions in the moment. How lovely to imagine my future self thanking my present self for being more deliberate in the present.

Perhaps being informed by our past helps us embrace the present more fully. Past sorrow enables present inconceivable joy, prior joy creates a greater depth of present sorrow. All are necessary to be fully human and vulnerable in our lives.

In a way, time is suspended when we bring together the past, present and future. there is an integrity, a greater depth of knowing that can take place. For me, this is a broader, more comprehensive way to imagine mindfulness.



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