peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.
In my believe mindfulness and meditation are key components to a full and meaningful life. Making this techniques available to anyone who wants to learn them, is one of my key principles. In my private practice I have learned over the years that more and more people have a desire to develop tools that will help them to be more flexible, more present, and less reactive.
We have been conditioned to operate in a doing mode of mind, where our minds tend to feel more useful. This doing mode feels familiar and allows our minds to run on autopilot for most of the time. It is a psychological condition that one can compare to the ‘autopilot’ function in an airplane. Routine things are taken care of automatically, economically, effectively and expeditiously.
It is of cause good that our brains can do this, but it leads to problems as well. On autopilot we might be functioning okay on the outside, in order to get things done, but we are not present. Instead we may be thinking of the past or the future. We experience regrets of the past and anxieties towards the future as if they were happening now and thus miss the real life, the only life we truly have, the present moment.
The being mode of mind instead purely observes and, what’s even more important, it unties the neural connections in our brains, which stimulate emotional reactivity, like worry, restlessness, anxiety, panic, hopelessness, depression, and many other negative patterns of our mental life. By engaging in the being mode of mind, we create psychological flexibility and hence gain more choices, and more freedom.
Mindfulness is paying attention to the unfolding of each moment without judgment and with an open and curious intention. It is a way to cultivate a part of our brain that can observe without reacting or the need to avoid or escape what is there in the present moment.