“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mostly, I have always had a positive outlook toward life. I’ve always believed at my core that everything would work out for me – like an inbuilt faith mechanism. Do you know what I mean? I think we’re all born with this inner knowledge to some degree. Think about it – it’s an innate survival instinct to believe that no matter what happens, we’ll be okay. It’s as if we’re aware that something greater than ourselves is watching over us, guiding us through our darkest moments.
Maybe it’s a kickback from the realm in which we originate. Maybe the “Creative Source” or some angelic being working for the Source sprinkled us with golden dust before sending us off to dwell in human form. But not before serving us with a big dollop of amnesia.
Yeah, some hallowed being with crooked fingers and a cheesy smile dusted us and said, “Go forth, greenhorn; descend into the Earth and live your life with no recollection of your true self. That to rediscover who you really are, you will know joy and love, but you must also experience pain and suffering – but try not to worry too much because even though you cannot see or remember us, we’ve got your back. You’ll be okay.”
Sound like a viable scenario? That we were sent off from our divine origins dusted with amnesia and a side of faith?
Go on – roll your eyes and label me crazy, but it won’t take away the pain and suffering that we all experience throughout our lifetime. Years ago, I fell into a deep depression that I struggled to escape. I had experienced bouts of the blues before when life seemed to get the better of me, but I was usually able to turn those burdensome feelings around and fight my way back to a better-feeling place. This time was different though.
The black dog gripped me during a time when I was raising my three children on my own. Something had happened that triggered me to spiral into a dark abyss. Every morning I’d awake, force myself out of bed and get the kids off to school, feeling utterly exhausted and devoid of energy by the time I arrived back home. Then, I’d curl up on the lounge and stay there for most of the day. I remember thinking that I’d never cried as much as during that time, and when I wasn’t crying, I was numb.
This went on for a few weeks before I was able to step away from myself long enough to have a good look at what was happening. I was self-aware enough to know the power of thought, and that the process to feeling better meant I had to adjust my thoughts accordingly. One better thought at a time would supply the ladder I needed to climb from the depths of depression encapsulating me. Yet, I was so far down that it was nearly impossible to create and hold onto positive thoughts and feelings for any length of time. I knew then that I needed help.
I arranged to see a psychologist. I dropped my children off at a friend’s place before attending these sessions once a week during the evening. I can’t recall her name or how she looked but I’ll never forget how she was able to help me see my situation in a different light. I’ll always remember how she reminded me of the importance of mindfulness.
“Wherever you go, there you are.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
She taught me how to train my mind on the present – that in any given moment to shift my attention to whatever I was doing and focus on that task and notice the simplicity of my actions. For example, if I was washing the dishes, I was to focus on the dishes and nothing else. She asked me to only think about washing the dishes – the warmth of the water; the way the glassware squeaked beneath the suds; the cleaning process.
Those six sessions with the psychologist were enough to pull me from the depression shrouding my life. I learned that it was fruitless to fret about things beyond my control. I couldn’t change the way others behaved, but I had the power to alter my own perceptions and reactions. She gave me the tools to curb my own thoughts from dwelling over a past that was haunting me, by bringing my attention to the present and focusing on now. Even through washing the dishes. Most of all, I learned how to appreciate the moments as they arrived – moments that I will never have again.
That is the point of being mindful. When we train our mind to be in the present moment, we free ourselves to make better choices. We can focus. We can dream. We can reach further into our higher-creative minds because we’ve allowed that space to breathe through the simple act of being present in the moment.
“The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” – Tara Brach
I have encountered rough times since. I’ve struggled with personal matters through writing projects. It is when I can recall those simple instructions given to me long ago that I tame any urges to mull over and mourn past events or worry about a future that I’ve yet to experience. If every minute is unrepeatable, then every minute must be a miracle. By anchoring yourself in the present, you give yourself permission to fully experience your life as it unfolds. The more you practice this, the more you are filled with gratitude and appreciation. In turn, it is those unbridled feelings of gratitude that pave the way into dissolving the invisible barriers to your higher-creative mind. I love the way Wayne Dyer explained this concept when he stated, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”
It’s so very true.
A Moment to Ponder Mindfulness:
Idowu Koyenikan said, “The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.”
- Considering your daily “thinking” habits, consider the above quote and techniques that you can use to strengthen your mind for expansion. Are there current situations in your life that could use a little mental tweaking?
- Can you think of a circumstance that may require a change of thinking on your part?
Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mind will give you a range of alternative methods and ideas that you can use to access your higher-creative mind. That part of yourself that remains hidden and unexplored, and brimming with story ideas and characters you have yet to meet. Muse or no muse.