Mindful of Now
Mindfulness is not about otherworldly access. If you decide that is your intention, then you’re going to be awfully disappointed. Why? When you seek the ends of spiritual life instead of devoting yourself to the journey, the purpose for spirituality is lost and the focus is myopic. In times such as the ones we are all living, it is an invitation to live the present in a state of spiritual intentionality. What does this cryptic statement mean? Spiritual intentionality is seeking to live every moment with a fully dedicated awareness to the moment and the experience.
Something should be said about expectations – as it is a natural segue. Expectations limit our perspectives (and awareness). Why? Expectations inhibit our ability to experience the fullness of any moment limiting the options of what could be due to the standards and opinions (judgment) we hold toward anything – people, relationships, work, life, meaning, politics, etc. If expectations are suspended, then our scope is broadened to the extent of a full panoramic experience unfolding before us, and things come as they do (not as we presumed). Life therefore is no longer about “this is probably going to happen”, but this is happening. The attitude and point of view are substantially different. Many reading may say, well, expectations are in play because I believe people should act “this way” or “that way”. Or I need “A or B” to happen.
The nature of expectations is to provide a sense of control over situations so that one feels empowered to act in a way that is favorable to oneself. Prevent getting hurt, prevent being taken advantage of, or ensure one benefits in a certain way, are usual reasons. This creates a psychologically antagonistic atmosphere where one is on edge that “this is more than likely going to be this way” or “probably so and so is going to act this way toward me”. If we have been hurt before or if we have experienced similar circumstances before, then it is even harder to get out of this habit of engagement with the world and others.
If one is willing to be aware of these habits and simply remains present in the moment, one may be surprised that most often we are wrong about presumed outcomes. This isn’t to say to ignore wisdom or ignore being attentive to common sense practices. What is being suggested is an invitation that despite what could be – leave those thoughts and attitudes aside - and “be” in the moment. Wait for things to unfold, and as they do you remain aware and address the situation, accordingly. Too often we begin to act in a way that is detrimental to us and to our best interests because we direct the situation to the exact place, we “thought” we’d end up or expected to. Ironic, don’t you think? Some call this the self-fulfilling prophecy others reciprocal determinism.
Think about it…