When Mindfulness is Bullsh*t
Previously, I shared how to achieve better resilience through mindfulness. If mindfulness is such a great tool, why this article?
The topic of mindfulness is everywhere. We are reminded to meditate, do yoga, clear our head and even do the dishes with a conscious presence. While these things can improve our sense of calm, what if we simply don’t feel happier and lighter no matter how much we try and follow those ‘inner-harmony-recipes’?
The answer is simple: If you treat mindfulness as another form of medication - if meditation is your new anti-depressant - you are simply treating the symptom of your unhappiness and hope the worry will eventually go away. This is not much different to popping an aspirin no numb yourself, so you can keep doing what caused the headache in the first place and ignore the cry for help from your body.
Are you connecting with your inner self or are you trying to run away from a reality that is not serving you?
If you use mindfulness to quieten the voice inside of you that says, ‘I’m sick, I’m tired, I hate my job, I don’t feel loved, I don’t love myself…’, you won’t find fulfilment.
If you force yourself to do yoga because you hate your body, you won’t break the cycle in your head responsible for the lack of self-worth.
If you try to stay in the moment, but get upset by the same worries circling around and turn to a glass of wine instead, something deeper needs to be addressed.
If you find yourself turning the search for inner balance into a scheduled daily chore, unable to find joy: Then it’s time to stop bullsh*tting yourself and instead, take a closer look at how you feel.
Perhaps it’s not just temporary stress. Perhaps it’s something else.
Is your situation improving steadily through mindfulness practice? Or are you just being able to bear it a bit better?
Don’t get me wrong: Regular mindfulness practice and meditation in addition to a healthy mindset, are GOLD. However, you cannot treat the symptoms of unhappiness with a self-prescribed meditation.
Being aware of what you really need and openly, curiously explore what you truly want out of life, can be a liberating, sometimes even stressful experience. But if you are not happy with your circumstances, you won’t be able to meditate your problems away. Meditation doesn’t work that way. It is more of a tool to help you see what is truly there. To quieten your mind while you connect with your true self.
If you use this pathway of mindfulness to improve your inner connection over time, yes, you will get answers. Yes, you will be able to create a more fulfilled lifestyle for yourself. But mindfulness alone cannot do this for you. Mindfulness is not something to be ticked off, so you can tell yourself you have dealt with your emotions, before reaching for the next glass of wine to numb what’s coming up.
Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break and lie on the couch with a cup of tea, in acceptance of our thoughts and feelings.
When confronted with change, we all face fear in one form or another. If you are familiar the work of Seth Godin and the way our ancient brain works, you know there is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fear, which are both processed in the same part of your brain: the reptilian brain (called Amygdala).
Mindfulness is an excellent tool to control the limiting form of fear during times of personal growth.
Though, sometimes we need to ask the question: What is really going on for me? Are you using Mindfulness to self-medicate or to support your personal growth? This article is meant to liberate you: from distracting yourself from your true feelings. Use the tools you have to empower yourself, not to bullsh*t yourself. Deep inside you know what feels right. You know when it’s time for mindfulness and you know when it’s time for change. Listen, act, then complement your journey with the power of mindfulness. Comment with your favourite mindfulness technique. In what way it is helping you to live a better life?