Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mind [fulness] Over Matter

Rent was due, and I was short. I could have berated myself over my lack of planning [I knew this was due, what was I thinking], sending myself into a frenzy of “what-ifs.” What if they completely cut me off?  What if I die homeless and penniless, and no one ever loves me, kind of thing?

But I had been reading about mindfulness from a number of authors. Something that really stuck out to me was something Mark Williams and Danny Penman said in their book, Mindfulness

“Mindfulness is about observation without criticism; being compassionate with yourself. When unhappiness or stress lies overhead, rather than take it personally, you learn to treat them as if they were black clouds in the sky and observe them with friendly curiosity as they drift past.

In essence, mindfulness allows you to catch negative thought patterns before they tip you into a downward spiral. It begins the process of putting you back into control of your life. ”

It is easy to get stuck in that paralyzing pit of “oh, gosh, what am I gonna do,” which   blocks any creativity for solving problems. We lash out at others or beat ourselves up. Both tend to backfire in a bad way. Neither solves anything.

The kind of useless ruminations that I am prone to engage in are not useful because they doesn’t solve anything. In fact, the frenzy paralyzes or stunts any action. When I am stuck in a stressful situation, I need to step back and figure out how I’m going to deal with it. There will be plenty of time for beating yourself up later, if need be [and often there is].

With my problem-solving skills able to flex freely, thanks to my newfound mindfulness, I was able to solve my bill problem much more coolly than if I had freaked out about it like I had originally planned.

c. 2011


  1. I always tend to freak out whenever bills are due too, because I often don't know where the money is going to come from. But I have to keep reminding myself to take a step back (and a deep breath) and consider my options calmly because, as you said, freaking out doesn't solve anything. Luckily, I haven't had a freak-out in awhile now.

  2. I will say this..."Grace without truth ceases to be grace, while truth without grace ceases to truth!" Same thing applies here.

  3. thanks so much for reading, guys! you are so right!!...b