To journey through your life unaware of your automatic thoughts, feelings and behaviour is almost like walking around blind to your potential. The only difference is there might be a sense of predictability and comfort because it’s familiar, well trodden and known. One could question is this truly living or just simply re-living the past? The patterns we identify with that can develop over a lifetime are so often compelling but so much of who we think we are is based on upon what happened to us and how we reacted to it at the time.
When we wake up to mindfulness we begin to be present to the unfolding of the moment to moment experiences and part of this is being awake to the auto-pilot and being open to the unknown. Our auto-pilot is the reactive qualities of our mind and automatic nervous systems that judges and sorts all our liking and disliking impulse into information to help us survive. But the primal part of our brain almost always overestimates threat and underestimates our resource and is not the wisest way to perceive our experience because it’s almost always motivated by fear.
In mindfulness we notice the pleasant, unpleasant feelings, bodily sensation, stories and thoughts and develop an even mindedness, kindness and awareness with what we focus our attention on and try to reduce the overlays we place upon what we notice by coming back to the direct experience instead. With mindfulness and focus, insights can arise and we begin to perceive things differently. As we get better at staying focussed we can explore opening our attention to all things within us and around us and just rest in the spacious awareness of present moment and all things that pass through without great attachments to any of it.
There is liberation in the being awake to our automatic reaction, being able to allow it all in with a sense of wholeheartedness, bringing curious inquiry to all experiences and letting yourself be transformed in that moment to moment awareness. When we can step back from the pulling in of pleasant experiences and the pushing away of unpleasant experiences we can find the mind is calmer and clearer and we can make wiser choices about how we live.
Mindfulness is a skill we can practice and with coaching and some discipline you can establish and develop an approach that will continue to deepen over your lifetime. The formal practice of mindfulness meditation, coupled with the practicing of shorter daily cues and skilful inquiry in coaching can help you navigate your internal experiences, explore, unpack and discover your resources for living a more authentic life informed by your core values and the principles of mindfulness and compassion.
The 8-week mindfulness based coaching program is a program I have developed to help individuals and groups wake up to their lives, develop their awareness and ability to make wiser choices for the greater good. Its great for workplaces because it brings people together and helps them connect with a common culture and individually it can really help you get calm, clear and have more authority over your life.
The program is available for the workplace or in private practice and comes with a workbook, MP3 and 90 min sessions plus activities to do in-between sessions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.