These are three mindfulness principles Angela Meringolo, Marketing Manager, the ACT and also an accredited mindfulness teacher, describes in her recent blog, which you can find here:
I was really struck by the article, and reflected on what I could learn from it.
The first point is such an important one – about trusting oneself. Putting large egos aside, most of us have moments of doubt in ourselves, and this is very undermining, preventing us from being the best person we can be. Angela explores the thought, and explains how we need to trust our intuition and wisdom – and resist the tendency always to look outside ourselves for guidance. Where we can look outside ourselves however is for the support of others who we trust and who trust us – and will support us and recognise us for the trusted and wise individual we are.
When I reflect on some of my best ‘moments’ or decisions, they have happened when I have trusted my instincts, even if others were not of the same opinion. Gut feel is really important – because that subconscious mind of ours is doing 90% of the thinking, and we won’t always consciously recognise the logic, but it will be there. This reminds me of a book The Gift of Fear, which talks about such matters, and gives the example of someone coming home with her groceries and a man tries to help her and thereby gets into her apartment with her. He moves her into the bedroom, assuring her all will be OK if she does what he says. He leaves the room to get something, after having closed the window in her bedroom, and despite her logical mind thinking the man cannot mean badly – he is too nice – she makes a run for it, and escapes. Her subconscious mind had told her there was a reason he had shut the window (presumably so no one would hear her scream, as he’d gone to the kitchen for a knife).
Most of us won’t face that kind of life-and-death situation, thank goodness, but it’s important we understand that we can trust our instincts and intuition. They are there for a reason, even if far less dramatic a one than my example.
Angela also talks about the mindfulness principle of patience, and I have reflected on that too. They say it’s a virtue, but do we really believe that always? Just to add to Angela’s blog, I think the following saying ties in very closely to it: “We overestimate what we can do in a day, but underestimate what we can achieve in a year.” I believe by exercising some patience and not expecting to do so much as we might want, we can get the balance Angela talks about, and over time we will actually achieve more, and better. We’ll also avoid some damage along the way, as with her example of the child with the emerging butterfly. It’s something I’m really going to work on if/when I find myself in impatience mode!
And then we come on to gratitude. It doesn’t take much to think at the end of the day about what we have to be grateful for, but is it a habit I follow? It hasn’t been part of my daily routine as such (I am a lot more random in my expressions of gratitude), but I’m starting to make it so. Considering how repetition of something becomes a habit, then this is a habit I would like to encourage in myself. So, what am I grateful for today? The sun and nature on my walk. The joy I get from ringing bells. The support of my family in lots of small ways. The unconditional love of my dog. The joy that comes from both reading and writing. And that’s only five things.
By Caroline Stockmann, Chief Executive, ACT