Mindfulness is being present, on purpose, without judgment, and with kindness.
~ Geeta Cowgali and Jon Kabat-Zinn~
I recently completed a 9-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. A friend had asked me if I’d be interested in joining her, and I decided to enroll as a way of gaining helpful tools to use with my coaching clients. This was my story, my motivation and my predominant thought, as I began my mindfulness practice: I’m doing this as professional development. Ironically, I was so busy thinking about how mindfulness practice could benefit my clients, I didn’t really allow myself to fully (mindfully) engage with it!
And then I surrendered…
Here’s the magical thing about mindfulness practice: You can’t do it for someone else. And if you do the practice, you can’t help but to encounter your own stuff, in all it’s “fullness”. My teachers were wonderful and kind, thoughtful and responsive. They gave us tools, guided and contextualized for us. But, in the end, it was each of us who had to get to know ourselves and see our minds and feel our bodies, as they were, in that moment.
And let me just say, IT WAS HARD!
When I finally allowed myself to be in my own mind, it was cacophonous! My thoughts were all over the place, and I kept trying to control the traffic! Slowly, slowly, I learned to just let my mind be, without judgment. And soon, curiosity and fascination set in, along with a healthy dose of amusement.
Seeing ourselves clearly is not always easy. It can be hard.
But hard isn’t bad, it’s just hard.
And that’s ok.
Let it be
I set out to gather strategies to help my clients, and I ended up learning a way of being that has immeasurably enhanced my own life…and my coaching toolbox!