I read the other day that most people believe the world is getting worse – and yet, said the article, there are more improvements to daily life now than ever before.
Advances in medicine, technology and the workplace are overshadowed by our own sense of hopelessness. In effect, our collective mood is not recognizing the good things – only the bad.
I must admit to falling into this trap, but lately, I’ve tried to jump onto the “mindfulness” trend. Each day, I do my best to focus on the “moment” and not think about past perceived injustices or fears about what the future may or may not bring.
I’m definitely happier. And something else odd has happened. I am able to “feel” myself being alive. I sense my heartbeat, my breath, my thoughts – and I pause to appreciate the utter incredible mystery of this thing called “life”. I see myself as a miracle.
Each time my mind decides to torture me, with thoughts of doom and gloom, I give it the command to go back to this moment – and just “be”.
I could be wrong, but since being mindful, I seem to feel better physically too. The daily headaches now show up only here and there – even the back pain that has plagued me all of my life, seldom shows up.
I look also at my mother, now nearing 90 years young. When she was diagnosed with advanced cancer, she treated it like a cold. An annoyance to be defeated. Of course she was scared, but she defied everyone – including all of the doctors – and put the focus on “now”, not “what could happen.”
I believe that helped her get through, and she’s still with us today.
There are a million reasons to be mad and sad. There are a million excuses as to why we “can’t” do something. There is no shortage of negativity, criticism and hate.
Why should I contribute to all of that? It’s not needed. Instead, I choose to appreciate life. To live right now. To offer support and empathy to others. To smile more. To just not take life so damn seriously, as many of us today do.
Being mindful has done one other thing for me. It’s helped me get my work completed so much faster, with superior results. And that feels so good.
We all have many problems in our lives. Many of us live in silent pain. Trouble won’t disappear because we’re mindful.
But how we react, and how we manage our mind, can position those problems more as “challenges” rather than “obstacles”, it can give us a healthier perspective and see difficulties as what they really are – part of the cycle of life.