Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Being Mindful

If I'm mindful throughout my day life goes smooth.

But what does mindful mean?

The best definition I've been able to find is "fully aware of present experience, with acceptance."

In other words I stay in the moment.

I'm not depressed because I'm not thinking about the past. I'm not excavating through the garbage heap of history that I've accumulated over the past 75 years.

Nor am I taking perilous ventures into that space off in the future where we're always wondering what's going to happen to us.  So no anxiety.

Instead, I’m firmly grounded in the moment - loving life just as it is.

But what about these random thoughts that keep popping into my mind? Every time that happens they take me out of the moment.

I simply acknowledge them without judgment. Then let them pass by like bubbles drifting on a stream.

But what if they come back again? Same thing. I acknowledge them and let them go, without resistance or judging them.  They're just thoughts and once in a while they pop up.

And they might keep coming back because that's what they do. But we let them go and stay focused in the moment.

And what's so great about the moment? Well, the moment is great because that's where we live our lives. It's the slice of time where we might have some control over our existence.

Too many of us, far too often, spend our time reminiscing on war stories – mulling over the "good old days." Or else we're off in the future thinking about a better place we'd like to be– a fantasy land that doesn't exist.

I practice living in the moment. And I’m learning that it's a great place.

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