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Do you trust in yourself and in life?

As, I was guiding the second session of an MBSR training yesterday and sharing the 8 mindful attitudes, someone became really curious about TRUST. I love it when that happens as it invites all of us to be curious and ponder on something we may have overlooked. This person shared that trust is probably the toughest inclination of mind to cultivate, at least for her. I invited her to work with it and explore it this coming week and it also made me reflect.

Interestingly enough, trust is something that has always been there for me but pretty dormant. It has been a force slowly but surely awakening in me and am amazed at what an immense power comes from TRUST. I’ve always enjoyed adventure and exploring the unknown and I certainly wouldn’t have ventured there without a healthy amount of trust. Trust in myself to figure out things and trust in life. I would have never moved to Italy without speaking the language and without a job or home if I didn’t trust that I could fall back on my feet. I certainly wouldn’t have gone travelling around Asia for 6 months on my own. I wouldn’t have chosen for a home birth (that ended up being in the hospital…). And I definitely never would have become a mindfulness teacher, a total leap of faith, if I hadn’t trusted somehow that it would work out (if curious, you can read more about my journey here). My most precious and defining life experiences came from getting out of my comfort zone and TRUSTING that it would all be ok eventually… And the more I trust, the more I grow and the more I trust so it is a virtuous cycle:)

I slept on my trust reflections and awoke this morning with this beautiful quote from Rumi in mind.

What if trust was just about allowing ourselves to pursue what we enjoy, what we are curious about, what we love? It can start small, little rain drops of joy until we allow that to grow and become our path, the river of our lives.  

What is it you feel drawn to? Can you allow yourself space to explore that and let it grow? We can become so absorbed into endless doing that we can easily forget to make space to what is calling us, to tune into our intuition. This is the place where we belong, where we become aligned, where joy flows and beauty is created.
It all starts with TRUST so please do:)

If you have a story or some reflections around trust of your own, please share them, I would love to hear them and they empower others. 

8 foundational attitudes of mindfulness …and life really:)

Mindfulness is not just about paying attention but how we pay attention, with what qualities of mind.

Cultivating certain attitudes of mind is helpful in training mindfulness and can help you get the most out of your practice, giving some touch-points to refer to when obstacles arise. Each of these attitudes relies on the others, so working on one enhances them all. These attitudes provide a kind of compass with which to approach mindfulness, holding them in mind, reflecting upon them, and cultivating them will nourish, support and strengthen your practice and gradually change your life.

  1. Non-judging

We are constantly generating judgments about our experiences, labeling them as good, bad or neutral dependent on the way they make us feel. Non-judging invites us to become aware of the constant stream of judging in our minds, and not get caught up in it, learning to take a step back to become an impartial witness to our experience.

 

  1. Patience

Not rushing the present, being open and accepting of each moment, allowing oneself room to have the experience that is unfolding at any given moment, understanding that sometimes things cannot be forced and will happen in their own time. We don’t have to fill up our moments with activity and more thinking to make them richer.

  1. Beginner’s mind.

The quality of a beginner’s mind, meaning a mind willing to see everything as if for the very first time, is very important to bring to the practice. Regardless of how many times we have experienced something or someone or a meditation, we need to free ourselves of our past experiences and understand that no moment is the same, every moment is unique and filled with unique possibilities.

  1. Trust

Learning to trust one’s feelings and intuition rather than looking to outside world for guidance is another key pillar of mindfulness practice.

  1. Non-Striving

Non-striving is about embracing ‘non-doing’ and not being focused on achieving specific goals through meditation. This is difficult as human nature is to do things for a purpose, to get somewhere but during meditation this can be an obstacle. It is common to think that by letting go of striving, we may be losing our “edge”, yet when we can relax into things as they are this change in attitude actually enhances openness, creativity and happiness. There is no goal other than to be fully oneself.

  1. Letting go or ‘’non-attachment’’

As we meditate, we learn to avoid our impulse to grasp pleasant thoughts and push away unpleasant thoughts, just by watching them and letting them be without getting caught up in them.

  1. Acceptance

Acceptance is a willingness to see things as they actually are in the present moment. In meditation practice this means being with each moment fully, trying not to impose our ideas about what we should be feeling or thinking on our experience but just being open and accepting to what is rather than wanting things to be different. We sometimes tune out from negative feelings as a way to defend ourselves (“experiential avoidance”) which may be helpful in short term but over time these bounce back at us. We should not ignore, resist or fight negative. Our experiences are here to teach us something. We are cultivating trying to observe all experiences, whether negative or positive.

  1. Kindness

Mindfulness practice is ultimately about kindness, towards ourselves and others. The quality of kindness is cultivated as an antidote to the difficult mind-states such as anger, fear, envy, greed, judgment, etc. Kindness allows to dissolve fears, guilty feelings, anxieties and stresses that lead to exhaustion and chronic discontent. We cultivate kindness over and over moving in the direction of greater compassion and acceptance. Kindness is not only a good quality in itself that leads to more peace and well-being for ourselves and others, it also leads us to clearer thinking and a better, more productive way of living and working.,

In addition to these attitudes, a strong commitment to work on oneself and enough self-discipline to persevere in the process are essential to developing a strong meditation practice and a high degree of mindfulness.

A personal vision

Finally, practicing alone isn’t sufficient, one needs to have a personal vision of what they want for themselves. Many people meditate to attain peace of mind, happiness. This is probably what most reasonable human beings desire for themselves. However we probably all have different visions of what that means, how that translates, what one believes is most important to be their best self, at peace with oneself.