Bright shiny objects. The latest trend. Following click bait. Chasing butterflies. I was trained to be never fully satisfied and always seeking more, as though the final, definite answer was just a click or event away. But it wasn’t – all along it was right here within me. And that’s why I call mindfulness a form of mental self defence.
Wandering mind syndrome is the worst. It’s where you flit from one thing to another, meeting everything at the level of appearance, running your fingers across the surface, never quite connecting with the who or the why. I was trained to be like this from a young age – by a cartel of corporate juggernauts eager to for me to join the unthinking army of mindless consumers.
It ended for me, one day, when I collapsed, bulging with fat from over eating, sallow and pale from over drinking, and sticky with sweat on the debt treadmill. I was broken. I felt like the last Roman Senator, slumped over the feast table, pawing at crumbs.
Coming to mindfulness has meant I am focused and connected to the present. My previous life of daydreaming, ruminating, drifting and being lost in idle thought – is over, and now I savour the stillness and basic integrity of the here, the now and the authentically mundane.
My wandering mind is something I do not control, or judge or compare. It is just something. I can watch with genuine curiosity as I realise my mind has wandered -skipped of on some tangent and rumbling headlong into a past episode or fantasizing about the future. And gently, with a measure of self acceptance and self compassion that I am only just beginning to polish, I can bring my attention back to just sitting and observing.
It’s a practice and a routine and something that doesn’t come effortlessly or get dramatically easier. But it’s not meant to – and I don’t expect it to. Being mindful, and bringing my focus back to center over and again is the practice.bringing my focus back to center over and again is the practice. Click To Tweet
In real life, away from when I am sitting in mindfulness, I notice how much I have grown. It might be just a subtle inflection, a momentary withdrawal, or deflecting myself away from the heat of unnecessary conflict. But it is there. I can walk through a room and feel the heat rise in my cheeks – thinking what will they think – and now it is so much easier to wave it away and assure myself – it doesn’t matter what they think.
Mindfulness is my mental self defence. A living, breathing, organic part of me that supports me when I falter. And lends me a clarity and calm composure. No longer at the whim of my wandering mind syndrome, I feel grounded with mindfulness.