Mindfulness

I worry. I know I do it and sometimes I feel powerless to prevent it. It can often seem like an instinctive reaction but, in fact, it is only a conditioned response. I also have a tendency to get overexcited and when that happens I have been known to injure myself (accidentally). My journal entry for 30th August 2001 is a good example of this although, given the format of this blog, it will not be published until 30.08.2012.

The combination of these two things accompanied me on a recent vacation to Thailand with a good friend of mine: I was worried I’d get too excited, hurt myself and ruin my holiday. This is not a wholly unfounded concern, especially as I have had more than my fair share of run-ins with swimming pools.

When we arrived at the resort, two girls walked past us with fresh injuries from falling off their moped. That didn’t really help as I’d already ruled out renting anything with an engine. For the next couple of days, as we relaxed on the beach, I kept seeing people limping. I pointed them out to my friend and the more I did the more it fuelled my worry. And, of course, all the while I was creating the very scenario about which I was worried (see tomorrow’s post for what happened).

Anyway, later in the holiday, after the incident and following a conversation I’d had with another man on the beach about mindful meditation, I started to think how I could have done things differently. I thought I was being cautious, but it would have been better to have been mindful: to be present in the moment and to be fully with whatever it is I am doing.

I find this hard to do. As with personal development: it’s simple, but it’s not easy. Thich Nhat Hanh is a great advocate of mindfulness and he encourages people to use every trigger possible – a bell, a traffic light, a flower – as a reminder to bring our focus back to who we are and what we are doing.

Maybe my excitement and worry can be triggers for mindfulness. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

 

This day, 11 years ago: Be Vulnerable, a Paradox & Perfectionism  •  Related post: What a Difference a Decade Makes

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