“I have found one reliable remedy for the relief of recurrent discomfort and unhappiness. I have prescribed it for myself and for many other people, with excellent results. It is regular mindfulness practice.” — Jan Chozen Bays, MD
Mindfulness means being aware of the present moment, inside and out, without judgments, thoughts, and preconceptions. Mindfulness is a tool that can help attune us to the present moment and create a more compassionate relationship with ourselves and our suffering. The practice of mindfulness is not for the anxiety to go away and never come back, it is to simply be aware and to have curiosity with our experience. When we do this, we “create a bigger container” as Charlotte Joko Beck states. Thus, we do not continue to fuel our anxieties and fears nor do we try and numb the experience.
This practice requires courage. It requires courage to allow vulnerability and be without our usual ego defenses. This can be frightening and unfortunately, we are not naturally taught or inclined to feel vulnerable. However, dropping our ego defenses allows room for love and intimacy — which are both required for a healthy connection with others and ourselves.