How many times has your mind turned completely blank, with zero recollection of where you just kept the key just moments ago? How many times do we feel pressured with so many thoughts and to dos in our head, that you literally wish you could shake them off? How many of us spend the prime of our life striving and planning towards the end-..a peak of achievement and happiness. Yet it evades us —a loving relationship, a nurturing trusted parent, a promotion, an adventure…. leaving behind desperation, stress, depression and reactivity.
“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.”‘ -Eckhart Tolle
Absorbed in our wandering minds full of worries and plans, we float in a dreamlike state …. lost in ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’… so we find ourselves constantly striving and struggling and ‘getting stuff done’ instead of really living. To move away from a mind full of agenda to being Mindful simply means waking up, out of autopilot and ‘taking the steering wheel’ of our attention again.
Jon Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness as: “Paying attention; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” That’s it, just those three steps…practised again and again.
In Sudha murthy’s Grandma’s bag of Stories, she explains finding the happiness by relishing the present is a very simple children’s tale titled “Who was the happiest of them all?”
King Amrit ruled over a Kingdom of plenty. Each time he asked his people , they all said they had more than enough. Once he opened the doors of his famed Royal Garden, full of prized fruits and flowers to his people. Each of them was given a sack, free to pick anything. All they had to do was to enter from the front and exit from the rear where the king would wait. They excitedly entered the garden full of rare, juicy and delicious fruits. They all filled their sacks and proceeded only to find the next stretch full of gold apples, mangoes of silver and flowers with gems and stones. They quickly dumped the delicious fruits in a heap and now filled their sacks with the precious items.
As they advanced towards the gate, they were shocked to find a raging stream. Clearly they had swim to get across to the king on the other side, but how could they with their heavy sacks. They wailed and swore until one man did what he had to. He left his sack and swam across. Others followed suit but were very unhappy. On being asked, the first man said “The fruits were delicious and I had my fill of them. I had collected a few of these fruits for my daughter. I had to leave them behind. But I am happy I got to enjoy such a wondrous garden.”
His answer is all mindfulness is folks!- Relish the current moment fully, plan for the future. Let go if need be. Accept it completely. Be grateful