Mindfulness…Another Game Changer
By: Karen
February 15, 2015

When did you last take the time to ponder? Ponder, one of my favorite words, is defined as “Considering something deeply and thoroughly; meditate and weighing carefully in the mind; consider thoughtfully.”

It is common knowledge that we are thinking all the time, processing the information our senses gather and making quick decisions and judgments. We log our experiences, decisions and judgments to retrieve them later in order to make even quicker decisions and waste less time. Sometimes, if we have a really big decision to make there is the ever popular tree chart. Positives on the right, negatives on the left and BOOM, the decision is made. It has occurred to me that many of us work to become mentally dexterous, so we can make those quick decisions and judgments in order to spend less time thinking and more time doing. Many people take pride in how much they ‘get done’, how busy they are. Few people take pride in how much time they spend thinking, considering and pondering.

As we spend our time looking to the next appointment, the next task, the next accomplishment, we miss the experience of the current moment. We miss the reality of our present. Some may say it is preferable to live outside our reality, but in the end what else do we have?

Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, founded the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program at University of Massachussetts. He states, “Mindfulness is simply paying attention in the presence of the moment, non-judgmentally, as if paying attention were your only job.”  The benefit of practicing mindfulness is the ability to live in and understand our present reality, not living in a past which no longer exists or worrying about a future which does not yet exist. Mindfulness allows us to be purposeful with our thoughts rather than having them wander in an unrestricted manner. Dr. Kabat-Zinn explains mindfulness does not prohibit thinking about the past or future, it simply causes us to be mindful that we are doing so. I submit that through mindfulness we are not living in the past, we are pondering the past from our present reality, allowing us to learn from those experiences.

Mindfulness can have a wondrous impact on the life we live. When we approach our past mindfully, we understand how it affects our emotions and reactions in our present reality. More than a few clients have looked at me as an alien when the suggestion is made that they sit in their pain. I stand by that suggestion because acknowledging our pain and sitting with it in mindfulness allows us to understand and work through it.

It is a gift to work with my clients mindfully, learning from them along the way.

Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”