Mindfulness; thuis komen in jezelf
The practice of mindfulness helps you to live fully here and now, and to enjoy this beautiful and challenging existence on earth. And challenging it certainly is. We are born as vulnerable creatures in a, through evolution, deeply ingrained, raw struggle for existence, through disease, death, war and whatnot. We live in a world where anything can change at any moment. Our most basic need is for safety.
Safety in a challenging existence
In fact, materially speaking, we have never been as safe as we are now. Physical safety was also fulfilled for most of us. But when I look at myself, growing up in a family with 4 children, which may have seemed harmonious from the outside, the emotional security was often quite hard to find. And no matter how hard our parents tried, I suspect that that basic need for emotional security has not been fully met for many of us.
If you observe your own thought process in all honesty and without judgment, you will see how we are always looking for that safety. In circumstances, in people, in recognition, in possession, in power, in spirituality… Our mind is constantly working to create emotional security, or to detect insecurity. Subconsciously we are mainly concerned with giving ourselves a certain sense of control and certainty with our opinions and judgments. Everything so that we don't have to feel old fears, often created in our earliest childhood.
And it seems that, with everything that has happened these past 2 years, we are being challenged on all kinds of levels to realize a deeper basic security within ourselves. If we consciously allow feelings of insecurity and old fear to learn, we can process and transform them. So that we no longer need to gain trust, safety or security from others, but can feel safe in ourselves, whatever happens around us. So that we can feel what our heart needs, and transform fear into love.
Phew, that's quite a process. For me one of many years, which is still continuing and deepening. In which I encounter increasingly subtle fears and unconscious, unnecessary layers of protection. The great thing is that where I used to be able to get stuck in victimhood, endless defensive discussions, mainly in your head (you know that? 😉 I see through these reactions so much faster and can let go. And what I think it mainly requires is to to fully embrace that fearful and needy part of yourself again and again, so that we start to feel safe in ourselves, with everything that should not be felt there: all the pain, fear, anger, but also all the suppressed joy, playfulness and open-mindedness.
You can practice anywhere
And you can practice that anywhere. Because even on vacation, and in the most paradisiacal places, we humans are still able to think ourselves unhappy, with unconscious thoughts of attack on ourselves or others. And then practice being there with a lot of gentleness, realizing that we are not alone in this. That we are all deeply programmed, and strayed far from our original nature and our innocent beautiful heart.
We are all on the road, each at our own pace. As my sister (also over 60 ;) recently wrote; "Crackling and squeaking towards old age coming back to myself." Slowly coming home to who we have been deep down all along. And when I look around me, and also in my training, as all kinds of developments seem to be moving faster and faster, I have hope that younger generations are learning and transforming faster than I could.
Small exercise with a big effect
- With mindfulness we can use anything that comes our way to learn from.
- It helps me, in challenging situations, to stop for a while.
- Then to turn inward and observe, with curiosity, mildness and without judgment:
- What am I experiencing now. What does this touch in me, what does this do to me. What do I feel about this.
- Allow that and breathe with it… relax into it.
- And often there is room for completely new responses.
- A variant of the breather, as we practice it in mindfulness training.