“When there is a great disappointment, we don’t know if that is the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.” Pema Chödrön is an American Tibetan Buddhist who is also an ordained nun. Her words are important for us to remember as we walk our path of mindfulness.
It is not always delightful to be fully present in particular moments of our lives. Sometimes it is painful and to accept the reality of the pain can be difficult. Pema Chödrön has some advice for such times. “Rejoicing in the good fortune of others is a practice that can help us when we feel emotionally shut down and unable to connect with others. Rejoicing generates good will.”
We have a choice in how we experience the world, even if we do not have the choice of what, where, and when the world meets us. We still have a choice and some control because we can choose and control our reactions. Life is not the series of events that we find ourselves in the midst of without any say. Life does include those events but it also includes how we respond to them.
We are the author of our own lives and mindfulness helps us write our own story. We are not and should not be merely puppets in the story of our life. We need to be director, producer, main actor, and yes, script writer. We should also be the musical director and lighting coordinator, makeup artist and caterer. What? How do we do all that?
The director tells an actor where to go and how to portray the character. We need to direct our lives, making choices of what we do and how we do it, including how we respond. The producer helps prepare for the production and handles the detail stuff. We cannot live blindly; we must take care of the “small stuff”. Skipping the script writer for now, let’s move onto the music in our lives. Mindfulness is especially helpful here as we listen to our world and take in the beautiful sounds of living – birds chirping, ducks splashing, children laughing and yes, even the sounds of grief in muffled sobs. We set out own stage by our choices in life and we either see the world around us lit up in all its glory or we turn off the lights and dwell in darkness and despair. The face we present to the public is the demeanor or make-up we put on every day. The food choices we make go a long way in determining our health.
These are all mindful decisions we make each and every day. We need to be aware of them and make them responsibly. That takes up back to the script writer. How are you writing the story of your life? A recent scientific study defined mindfulness as “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment.”
What is your purpose and what do you want it to be tomorrow? By living and practicing mindfulness, your awareness of your life experiences will help make the future successful and a much happier place to be. Mindfulness affords one to have less stress and a healthier living, things that should be among our top three reasons for being. Health becomes more positive and productive as do relationships. Simply put, the purpose for mindfulness is to experience life more fully and with positive results.