Sitting at a coffee shop. Eating breakfast. Sipping hot coffee. Writing on my computer. Still chewing.
A thought arises, "I miss sitting here with him."
I hear sounds coming from outside. People are talking. The barista is mopping the floor. I smell the flowery scent of the cleaning liquid.
Another thought comes up. "What am I supposed to do with my life?" "I ate too much, this is too much food!"
I'm chewing. And typing.
Moment by moment, the mind follows where the attention goes. There's something new to discover with each breath: New sounds, smells, and colors enrich the momentary experience.
Mindfulness is about living life through senses. Similar to a child but with more emotional and cognitive maturity. When we're mindful, we're unconditionally present with all that we sense around us. Noticing when the mind is hooked on certain thoughts, we come back to our experience in the now, sensing our way through whatever is real to us moment by moment. This way, we're able to hold space for our experiences no matter how pleasant or unpleasant we perceive them to be.
Becoming present in our experience of the world outside, we find a way into ourselves.
The heart beats to the sound of music outside. The breath flows in and out of the body easily when we feel safe and loved.
Sometimes, it's the opposite. The breath becomes shallow and the heart beats faster when we feel a threat approaching.
The gift of mindfulness is the melding of the inner and outer worlds. When we know how our feelings affect our experience of the world outside (and vice versa), we grow wiser. We don't take our emotions too seriously but we let them say what they need to say to us. We don't take our ego too seriously but we allow it to share its opinion with us. We allow whatever thought, feeling or sensation wants to come up to rise to the surface of our consciousness. So that they are SEEN and VALIDATED.
This gift makes room for ACCEPTANCE: coming to terms with whatever is real in the present moment without the need to fix anything about the experience we're having. Solidification of the present experience through senses helps us to ground and get a clear view of what we're yearning for in that moment - day - week.
Mindfulness is experiencing your true essence in all of its complexity. You will find that your mind is a pro at creating tragedies that has nothing to do with the reality of your situation. You will also find that there is beauty in being able to flow between different modes of attention. The more we pay attention to our senses and the way that they inform our minds about the feelings we're experiencing, the more insight we cultivate.