Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness Moments

Do you have a strategy to deal with a potentially overwhelming situation?

It’s human nature when faced with a difficult task to either wade in to try and ‘fix’ it or go to the other extreme and avoid it completely. A friend of mine recently shared her experience of stepping back as an observer of her own thoughts rather than her usual tendency to try to ‘fix’ a situation. She told me that one of the most helpful exercises that she had learned involved using the following sentence:

‘Can I be with this as best I can, just for this moment?’

She explained that the sentence gave her a solid baseline to learn and communicate from and when the sentence was broken down it became a framework from which to process her thoughts.

For example, the first part Can I?’ demonstrates to your wandering mind that you are curious about and open to what is happening at that precise moment.

‘Be with’: This identifies that your goal is not to change, control or ‘do’ anything in particular with your experience except be an open witness to it. This is an antidote to the tendency to resist and complain in response to things that don’t fit with our expectations. Observe and ‘be with’ your experience in the way you might ‘be with’ a crying baby. You may not like that the baby is crying but you know that complaining and resisting will not improve the situation.

‘As best I can’: This part is a reminder that you are doing the best you can. There’s a tendency to think that you ‘should’ be experiencing or doing something better but this ‘something’ is a hypothetical ideal that you have imposed upon yourself.  ‘As best I can’ is a request to yourself to refrain from judging yourself harshly and to tune into the fact that if you could be doing or experiencing anything different in this moment you would.

‘Just for this moment’: There is only ever ‘this moment’ to deal with. You only have to ‘be with’ your experience right now, in this moment, for this moment. Staying focused on this one moment will reduce the risk of becoming overwhelmed by the complexity of the situation you face.

Do you have a strategy? I’d love to hear about it!

Bev Porrino

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