The following was sent in from one of our students after a Mindfulness Mentoring Training Session. She shares with us an open and honest account along with a brilliant poem on how Mindfulness can help remove us from the hijacking habit feeling of doom and gloom to I’m okay right now.
Here is a snap shot of the inner workings of my mind beforehand I got a taste of mindfulness in action. I was in a mode of mind I call the “I’m fucked, I am never going to feel better, I can’t support myself”. It a cluster-fuck and the mental energy to deal with myself and my mind becomes too much and I wished there was an opt-out clause. From past experience this tips me under the line and into depression as my mind says “Fuck it, I can’t deal with this anymore, I am checking out”.
What became evident through my mindfulness session with Tammy is that I have been avoiding my shit – meditating over it, eating over it, yoga-ing over it, talking over it… in the hope that a better me emerges on the other side. I learnt that we can’t just jump over ourselves as if we aren’t there.
When we don’t give it airtime, the shit tends to stew and get stinkier – this wasmy experience over the past week. Entering the red zone, I got hijacked by the most annoying person in the world who spends the whole day ruminating, analysing and worrying about shit that is not even happening. The battle with my thoughts begins and in desperation to avoid the pain I feel I hope and search for something or someone to fix me.
What I have learnt through my experience of mindfulness is that things are not always as they seem and if we can take a look with kindness and curiosity there may be an alternative way to deal with our suffering. Taking a look means giving it some air-time. Even if we don’t like it – let go of judgement and approach with a beginners mind as if it is the first time you have come across it.
During my session with Tammy, once we brought the difficultly to the surface and we rummaged through to see what was there, and all of a sudden I could see clearly again – this was awareness kicking in and I am so glad I got to experience it. It was like I woke up and all of a sudden there was distance between myself and my thoughts, the hijacker was no longer in control and I was back in the driving seat. I felt a sense of trust that everything was going to be okay. I could abandon the need to “ hold it all together” and let go of an illusion that that someone or something would fix me.
I learnt that the energy required in maintaining this system of hope was leading to despair as I continued to drain myself of the present moment. In hoping I was “better” I was telling myself that I am lacking in something. The urges to avoid this feeling of lack led me to intense strong sensations and completely robbed me of being present.
ABANDON HOPE – Extracts from Pema Chodron “When Things Fall Apart”
Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; a sense of poverty. We simply can’t relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope and hope robs us of the present moment.
Abandoning hope is the beginning of the beginning. To think we can finally get it all together is unrealistic.
Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We could smell that piece of shit. We could feel it, what is in its texture, colour, and shape?
We can explore the nature of that piece of shit. We can know the nature of dislike, shame, and embarrassment and not believe there is something wrong with that. We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better “me” who will one day emerge. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we aren’t there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.
A taste of Trust –There is nothing to Fix
The wandering of my mind
In search for something to be solved
Let’s analyse what is broken
And over-estimate what is involved
Predicting the future Trawling the past,
Heuston, there’s a problem,
I need to act fast
From my head to my toes It hijacks my senses
Unsure what to do
My body then tenses
There must be a way out
There must be a cure
There must be solution
Or something to secure
As the battery switches
To low power mode
I’ll need more energy
To carry this load
As I lose my balance
I fall to my feet
What I notice is profound
This is not defeat
In my moment of weakness
A bright light emerges
Like a healing balm
It smooths out the urges
With the light of awareness
I see nothing to fix
Trust in the unknown
Then fear and I can co-exist
(Yoga NRG Mentoring Student – Yoga + Mindfulness Teacher Trainee)
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