Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mindfulness

The definition of mindfulness is "being fully aware of present experience - with acceptance."

In other words, being right here, right now, and being okay with it.

But this often is easier said than done.

After all, we might be on the job right now. Yet our mind is on that nice dinner we're planning this evening with our family.  Or, we might be thinking of that vacation we're going to take around Christmas time.

In other words, we're not fully present at our desk, or in the shop, or the office. Oh yeah, our body’s there. But our mind is elsewhere in a place we perceive as being much more pleasant.

So part of us is here. And part of us is somewhere else. Which means we're not fully in the moment.

So how do we learn to live in the present?

Mindfulness teachers suggest that we don't criticize our drifting thoughts. That we become aware of them as they pass through our mind. We observe them. We acknowledge them. But we don't criticize or judge them.

That way we experience and appreciate this moment, this time we have now. We can live moment by moment.

By living this way we have less stress and anxiety because we're not zigzagging between the past and the future.

Mindfulness training offers us simple meditation techniques we can incorporate into our lives. They are easy to use and immediately effective. 

A great resource for learning more about this practice is Ron Siegal's book, "The Mindfulness Solution - Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems"

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