The „mindfulness“ has been part of my life for about 25 years now; it think it is quite a long time to be able to express my own experience and feelings about it.
In this period there have been ups and down in my own understanding and relationship to it, but I can say that my overall experience of it is positive, mind-opening and it has built more confidence in myself and the things I do.
Recently I listened to an interesting radio programme that put many questions and suggested reconsideration of „the meditation and minfulness“ because of the consequences and effects that they have on some people. We are not all the same and the way we take in and understand the messages we hear and see during the meditations and mindful moments can produce a variaty of consequences, some of which rather negative and treatening for mental health. The warning is that closer attention and care is needed when practicing and introducing the concept of meditation and mindfulness to a wide audience. Another argument that calls for a careful approach is that our brains and minds are to a great extent still unexplored and thus, unknown to us, to the scientists as well as to the people who proclaim themselves „teachers, coaches and leaders“ in the process of meditation and mindfulness.
However, it would be wrong not to look at this topic from its positive side and its influence on our wellbeing. An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something very simple, such as silent walks through your favorite paths, your regular gym sessions, playing an instrument, caring about your dog, or, as I do these days, pick wild asparagus every day, to rest my mind by focusing on seeking out this nice and tasty plant, which allows at the same time, if I am successful, a tasty meal when at home.
When we experience stress, it is easy to stop noticing the world around us. It is also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.
Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.
It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can change the way we see ourselves and our lives positively.
As a conclusion to my contemplating on mindfulness, I would like to quote professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, who says: „Mindfulness isn’t the answer to everything, and it’s important that our enthusiasm doesn’t run ahead of the evidence. There’s encouraging evidence for its use in health, education, prisons and workplaces, but it’s important to realise that research is still going on in all of these fields. Once we have the results, we’ll be able to see more clearly who mindfulness is most helpful for“.