Would you be able to see your Mindfulness in a photo?
The advertising campaign for milk in the mid-1990's made the image of 'milk mustaches' and the question of Got Milk? seem funny and sexy. Milk mustaches were a visual confirmation that you were a milk drinker. So it got me thinking ... when I am being mindful, how would those around me know that I am 'drinking' present moment awareness?
I got me some mindfulness but you won't necessarily see it on me. If you talk with me you may feel comfortable because I am present with you, with what you are saying and how you are saying it. You may not know that this comfort and ease you feel while talking with me is because I am working hard under the hood to detach from seemingly random judgmental thoughts that are popping up into my thought patterns.
In layman's terms, mindfulness is the practice of being present without the noise of our internal voices and beliefs that can be critical, judgey, and biased. And let me be clear ... turning down the volume on this noise is not easy as the internal voices, the critical self talk, can be so loud that it seems the only way to turn it off is to distract ourselves away from the present moment. Thus, at first, developing mindfulness can feel challenging as we will need to tolerate the loud bothersome internal voices of judgment and bias before we can cultivate the ability to detach from those critical thoughts.
If you are looking to get you some mindfulness, the Mindfulness Skill Development group class is a perfect start! The evidence-based curriculum uses exercises and homework to slowly introduce you to how you are experiencing the present moment and teaches you tools like Self-Compassion and breathing techniques that can help you tolerate the inevitable discomfort.
The Mindfulness Skill Development group class for Anxiety and Depression will be starting February 8th.