ReMindful - How To Feel OK When You're Not OK (3:44 mins)
A cornerstone of mindfulness practice is the willingness to accept our present moment experience exactly as it is; to recognise it, acknowledge it and allow it to flow unimpeded, without grasping at it or pushing it away.
But you don’t have to have practiced for very long to realise that some moments are just easier to accept than others.
When you don’t feel ok, it’s natural to bump up against the urge - or the habit - to remedy or fix any discomfort that has arisen in the body or the mind.
Acceptance can feel hard and even unnatural.
One insight that can help is to recognise that acceptance is not the same as resignation.
You’re not condemning yourself to be a sitting duck for unpleasant thoughts, feelings and sensations to do their worst.
You’re simply providing the conditions from which you can more clearly see the impersonal, ephemeral nature of moment to moment experience.
It comes and it goes.
You don’t have to, nor should you, reactively force and control your way to into a state of wellbeing.
This insight can create enough separation and distance from your thoughts to allow for a wiser, more easeful response when deciding what to do about your current situation.
But that doesn’t necessarily make acceptance easy.
So, another way to work with unpleasant experience is to recognise the phenomena of awareness itself.
To look for what it is that’s knowing.
Maybe you already intuitively know that no matter what happens in life and how you subsequently feel about it, there is always a part of you that seems to remain ok.
That aspect of you that remains unchanged and untouched by whatever you experience is awareness.
Awareness is always ok.
Right now, even as you’re reading this, thinking about what’s being said, seeing your environment, feeling sensations in the body, can you recognise that there is also just a simple knowing that it’s all happening? And that this knowing isn’t embroiled with what’s being experienced, but rather its a kind of impartial container in which all experience is being held.
Even if everything were to change in an instant, this quality knowing - this awareness - would remain unmoved.
Because awareness is never concerned with what it is aware of.
Hot, cold, pain, pleasure, joy and anger - they’re all held equally.
This is an important insight when it comes to personal freedom.
Learning to hangout out at the level of awareness - to practice being the container in which all experience flows - can allow us to be more accepting of what is, more settled in unsettling times, to feel less at the centre of the story.
In other words, awareness is what helps us to know we’re still ok, even when there are plenty of reasons not to be.
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