In my last blog post I mentioned how I had ordered a book on Mindfulness. It’s called “Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” and it’s by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.
I’ve always had an interest in meditation and mindfulness, and the concept of slowing down a busy mind, and being able to calm yourself in any stressful situations. I personally struggle with anxiety and nervousness, and I have for a majority of my life. I think it’s fair to say that my anxiety about certain things has held me back from opportunities that I have regret missing.
As like most people these days do, I also struggle with procrastination, and a poor attention span, and being so engulfed in the internet all the time.
The authors of this book argue that mindfulness meditation practice can help basically all of that.
So far I am only about halfway through the intro.
So you’re probably wondering and asking yourself, “Why the heck is she already writing a review on this?!”
And I will say- that’s a great question. One I have an answer for.
I am a mere 32 pages into this book, and only in chapter three, but what I have read has already provided me with so many revelations, and has already lead me to question ideas and concepts I have believed for so long.
This book has made clear to me the flaw with the term ‘self improvement’- not that trying to better yourself is a bad thing. However, the act of acknowledging the fact that you’d like to be better is, in a way, also breaking yourself down at the same time- by suggesting you’re inadequate as you are now. Y’see, this is problematic for one major reason…
I started this blog with the goal to be a self-improvement blog- to hold me accountable to everything I want to achieve and fix in myself and my life.
I don’t know about you, but when an ideology I’ve held dear to my heart for a long time (self-improvement) gets called into question, and even proved to be wrong, it kind of shocks me. Shocks me to the point of needing to blog about this.
The goal of mindfulness, as I have read in the eloquent words of Mr. Williams and Mr. Penman, is not to fix or change anything negative about you or your life- it is simply to watch thoughts pass through your head and to let them go, and to realize that your thoughts are not you.
Truly, that’s how anyone and everyone even improves themselves or their life. You plan to do something, i.e. workout more. And then your silly old brain comes around and starts spewing out excuses to not do it, i.e. I had a busy week at work or I’m too tired today. Most people would then be disappointed in themselves for falling victim to their own excuses and go about figuring out more ways to hold themselves accountable.
However, if you practiced mindfulness, back when you had that initial thought of I’m too tired, you would have realized the thought passed through your head, and you would have watched it disappear just as quickly, and with a level head, you would make the decision to go work out anyways, and not beat yourself up about making up excuses.
That, to me, is truly an astonishing idea. To think that something like that can actually work, is inspiring.
Needless to say, I am pretty excited to get into the meat of this 8 week program.
Do you have any experience with meditation or mindfulness? What were your experiences? Let me know in the comments!