Life teaches us that we cannot be released from powerful, stressful emotions by resisting, ignoring, or repressing them – no matter how hard we try. In fact, life teaches us just the opposite. We learn from experience that resisting, repressing and ignoring unpleasant emotions just tend to make things worse.
When we learn the secret of mindfulness, we learn that instead of running away and feeling threatened by powerful emotions, we can just sit with them and breathe and allow them to be. Mindfulness is peaceful, like a great calm ocean where the powerful waves of emotion can arise and thrash about, but do no damage.
Learning To Let Things Be
If this sounds like meditation to you, it is. Mindfulness is a kind of meditation. This awareness, this sitting with yourself and not doing anything and not expecting anything to happen is what meditation is all about. And so is feeling that you don’t have to achieve anything at all.
So you just sit and breathe and watch your emotions come and go. And you do absolutely nothing about any of it. As we practice this and learn to let things be, we gradually start to desensitize ourselves to our fear of our own feelings.
These tactics or techniques—mindfulness, observation, meditation—slowly and gradually release us from our own mistaken belief that our own emotions can somehow be dangerous to us. And if we combine this practice with the powerful technique of investigating our stories, over time we will find ourselves released from the grip of many of the highly charged emotions we fear so much. And in the end, life becomes a much kinder place to be.
The Intention To Be Awake
So whether we’re talking about internal or external events, to be present and deal with what is really in front of you, you must be awake. And if you’re not awake, the only way to get there is to have the intention to be awake. Intention is everything. So be earnest and intend! Intend to be awake in this now moment. Intend to be mindful and see what is without interfering or interpreting or trying to understand. And be earnest about it.
Intend to see without judging. Intend to drop your opinions. Intend to be here now and experience the fluidity of this moment as it is, and sooner or later, you will!
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
Intend to keep bringing yourself back to the present now moment without commenting on it or explaining it to yourself. And if you slip away, as you most certainly will, come back and intend again. And keep practicing. And intend again. Intention requires constant vigilance. Nothing less will do.
Keep Intending To Be Here Now
Intend to be awake over and over again. And then intend again. And each time you discover you’re not present but off somewhere in your mind conversing with your girlfriend or your father or your boss, bring yourself back to the now. And intend again.
If you are earnest and this is your honest intention, you will discover that you can practice ‘seeing’ at any moment during the course of your day – no matter what you are doing. Just do it. Decide to be present and mindful when you are washing the dishes. Decide to be present and mindful when you are driving your car. Decide to be present and mindful when you are with your partner. And then watch. And watch again and decide to see what you are doing and what is going on – and you will.
You can also take specific time-outs during the course of your day to practice ‘seeing’. You can, for example, start by just sitting in your chair and practicing ‘seeing’ as described above for five minutes. If you do this regularly – once or twice a day for just a few minutes each time – you will soon get the knack of it. It’s almost like learning to ride a bicycle. It takes a bit of practice, but pretty soon you will get it. And then ‘seeing’ will start to happen for you naturally – and who knows what you will see!!
Happiness Is The Now
One of the things we discover when we are mindful is that happiness is the now. Where else could it be?
And we also discover that happiness now is our true nature. How do I arrive at this startling conclusion? It’s simple. When you practice ‘seeing’ and ‘being’ in the present moment, you discover two things: First of all you discover that you are the now. Why is this so? Well it has to be. Just ask yourself – what is the now? The now is what you are. The now is where you are. The now is you… it has to be. What else could the now be, but you? Think about it. Without you, there would be no now!
So let this sink in for a moment. You are the now.
The second thing you find out is that when you are mindful and fully present, the experience of the now is utterly simple, entirely blissful, perfectly peaceful, and completely safe. Which is a pretty good definition of happiness isn’t it!
Now this is a very important discovery because it means – despite what you may think at the moment – that you cannot do anything to make yourself happy because you already are happiness itself. Happiness is your nature – because you are the now! And the now is utterly simple, entirely blissful, perfectly peaceful and completely safe.
When I contemplate this, I can come to no other conclusion than that you, the now and happiness are all one and the same! They are equal, identical and interchangeable – or all one – however you want to look at it. This I find is a pretty amazing discovery. To realize that this is who/what we are – and that happiness is our true nature. The icing on the cake is that there’s only one place we can experience the happiness that we are – and that’s right here now.
©2015 Barbara Berger. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the author.
Article written by the author of:
Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life
by Barbara Berger.
What is preventing you from being happy now? Is it your partner, your health, your job, your financial situation or your weight? Or is it all the things you think you “should” do? Barbara Berger takes a look at all the things we think and do that prevent us from living happy lives now. Barbara presents 10 practical ways to use this understanding in your daily life, your relationships, at work and for your health.
About the Author
Barbara Berger has written over 15 self-empowerment books, including the international bestseller "The Road to Power / Fast Food for the Soul" (published in 30 languages), "Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life" (more than 20 languages) and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”. American-born, Barbara now lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition to her books, she offers private coaching sessions to individuals who wish to work intensely with her (in her office in Copenhagen or on Skype and telephone for people who live far away from Copenhagen). For more about Barbara Berger, see her Web site: www.beamteam.com