Here’s a selection of UK newspaper headlines from January 1st , 2020:
Daily Express – BORIS: OUR DECADE OF HOPE AND GLORY
Daily Mail – WILLIAM: 10 YEARS TO SAVE WORLD
Independent – A NEW DECADE DAWNS
Daily Mirror – A DECADE TO SAVE WORLD
The Times – BRITAIN SEEING IN 2020 ON A WAVE OF OPTIMISM
So, their CERTAINTY was that our immediate and ongoing concerns were CLIMATE CHANGE and BREXIT. When in say, the last 8 weeks, have you heard anyone mention either of those subjects?
Now, the words we hear include: ‘CORONAVIRUS’, COVID-19, ‘PPE’, ‘SOCIAL DISTANCING’, ‘SOCIAL ISOLATION’, ‘SHIELDING’, ‘LOCKDOWN’. All of these words were either rare, or totally new to us.
How do you feel now that the CERTAINTY we seem to love so much has been replaced by its exact opposite, where the unfamiliar is all around us and constantly changing? BUT – isn’t that always the case? It seems to us at Mindfulness Leicester, that from the vagaries of the British climate, to the unpredictability of our favourite sports teams and more sombrely, the date of our inevitable demise, nothing, or very little is certain. How terrible….or IS IT?
We are frequently sold and enthusiastically buy into the notion that we can control virtually every aspect of our lives. DON’T WE ALEXA?? In reality though, apart from our thoughts and actions, everything else is outside of our control and if we fail to accept that, we set ourselves up for frustration and anxiety.
The trouble is, when we feel out of control of most things, we try to gain control of something – we have probably all seen (or been!) the person, who, ill at ease at a posh dinner, sits fiddling with the cutlery & table
decorations. Far more seriously, we can observe the plight of those who fall prey to eating or drinking disorders, or other forms of self-harm.
Instead of a closed mind that is restricted to and run by rigidly-held preconceptions, we would benefit from an open mind that in every moment is receptive, reflective, curious, and malleable. In the words of: Pema Chödrön:
“Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. It is all we ever have so we might as well work with it rather than struggling against it. We might as well make it our friend and teacher rather than our enemy.”
Once we accept the world as it currently is, with genuine uncertainty, we can experience the full potential of every moment. By taking our response to life’s events off autopilot, our attitude becomes calm, non-judgmental and grounded in reality forged from direct experience.
Mindfulness keeps us in the present moment by enabling us to see our thoughts as mental events and resting our focus on the reality of “WHAT IS”, rather than the confusion of “WHAT IF”.
Please let us know what YOU think.