More on Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a mind state achieved when we turn inward , often with eyes closed, and focus only on the present moment. We allow for any thoughts, emotions or body sensations to be noticed as they arise, and then let go with a kind acceptance. With the self awareness that mindfulness allows, we are able to spend time with our inner selves and, more often than not, gain some new information that we previously did not connect with or have access to.
Why we are the way we are...
From the moment we come into this world we are innocent beings, open and vulnerable to all that the world has to offer. As we journey through life, however, we encounter negative experiences which cause us to learn ways of protecting ourselves from harm. These experiences can cause us both physical and/or emotional pain. We use our strong natural intelligence to create coping strategies that enable us to function in the world. Often, these are not necessarily "helpful" or "healthy", but they are all we know how to do.
What do these strategies look like?
Perhaps you learned to be a perfectionist and always do everything right to avoid punishment?
Perhaps you learned that you weren't valued or important, and have spent years trying to prove that you are?
Perhaps you learned that it wasn't okay to lean on or depend on anyone, and became self reliant?
Perhaps you learned that it wasn't safe to assert yourself, and became a people pleaser?
Perhaps you learned that your feelings weren't welcome, and threw yourself into working and other activities to squash down anything that even remotely resembled feelings?
These protection strategies stay with us throughout our lives and turn into character traits and habits that we use every day. But, if we have the courage to turn inwards for a few moments we may come to realise that we were purely innocent at the beginning and come to see our seemingly negative traits as gifts. At this point we then have the chance to forgive ourselves, and those we have blamed for "making us this way", and truly change our way of being.