My journey into becoming a Mindful Nepali has given me immense pleasures. Doing away with anxieties about the future and dwelling on the regretful past, I’ve stopped by to be more in the here and now. I’ve come to enjoy more of the small pleasures that life has to offer- the smell of a flower, the smiles of strangers, and the clear blue skies. All in all, it’s been a fantastic transition. However, as wonderful as it sounds, I’ve recently come to think of how becoming mindful isn’t easy. It certainly isn’t easy to start. Continuing is even harder.
Only this week, I was mentoring about cultivating a mindful approach to life. At first, it was hard for a few mentees to grasp the idea. But with a couple of activities to go along with the concept, the idea was comprehensible to them. Now my hope is for them to practice mindfulness in their daily lives to achieve a sense of calm in everything they do. However, is it that easy? Of course not! It will first be very hard to get into the habit of becoming mindful. The urge to shout at someone who says something offensive, the twitch to compulsively check our phones the moment we are devoid of making eye contact, and the temptation to eat as quickly as possible so that we can count the number of likes on our new upload will be all too high. All these will continue plaguing us despite our declaration to live a mindful life. Slowly with practice, the mindful gap that usually slips past our noticing goes down and we become better practitioners of mindful living.
This, though, is just the beginning. As we begin to become more and more mindful, a bigger problem starts to surface.We begin to notice how others are living on auto-pilot mode. We realize this because slowing down makes it easier for us to see everything around; particularly our former selves in the frantic way our loved ones are living their present lives. The impulse to try to change them will be incredibly high. Don’t give in to those pressures. You may end up feeling worse when the ones you love (and hence want to change because you now understand how beautiful mindfulness is) will resort to self-defense in trying to justify their way of living. The only way you should be trying to help them is to see past their flaws, and to send them loving-kindness when they are in need of it the most.
So the next time somebody blandly passes you a comment (high chances it will be about your weight), bring your mindfulness into play. Firstly, let go of the urge to react. Secondly, offer them a warm smile that radiates a loving-kindness, the type that carries with it a wish for them to overcome the state of remaining prisoners to the chatters of their minds.