There is a pervasive misunderstanding, that mindfulness is about stopping our thoughts (good luck), and that enlightenment is the promise of a life without pain. Holding these beliefs both hinders our access to the benefits of mindfulness (because it points us in the wrong direction) and sets us up for a deep disappointment. But a great beauty comes from seeing that mindfulness is nothing more than making space for what is ~ right here, right now. When we learn to invite ourselves into the present, without expectation or demand that this moment be any different than it is, then we bring ourselves closer to the possibility of true rest. Rest from all of our seeking. Rest from our constant striving. Rest from our lifelong arguments with God. And resting into an inner spaciousness that is big enough to hold anything that life brings our way.
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Rafia Rebeck, MEd, MA, LPC, is trained in the Hakomi Method of Psychotherapy. She offers a warm, sincere, and safe approach for those who seek personal transformation through mindfulness. Please feel welcome to get in touch by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. If this blog postcard was meaningful for you, please feel free to share it with others who may benefit.
Sometimes inspiration doesn’t come.
Sometimes clear mind seems as far away as the next galaxy.*
Sometimes our thoughts get a little too quiet.
A fog settles in.
In these moments, discomfort can drive us to get busy.
“I’ve got to do something about this!”
“Something must change!”
“I have to work harder!”
“This cannot stand!”
But the “what to do” eludes us, leaving a pallor of shame on our cloud of discomfort. The very mind that seems to be blocking our access, then blaming us for it, then demanding we take action . . . also refuses to show us the way out.
So what do you do when you don’t know what to do?
Allow the stillness.
Notice what it feels like to not know.
Rest some more.
Take a walk.
Watch rain drops splash on a puddle. Notice the sun lighting up a daisy.
Then rest again.
The world offers us plenty of doing.
Sometimes, through an act of uncomfortable grace, Life offers us rest instead.
The sun will burn off the clouds eventually.
Clear mind will return.
In the meantime . . . settle into the fog.
*Did you know that there are ~100 BILLION stars in this galaxy alone? And that there are ~100-200 BILLION more galaxies BEYOND the Milky Way? Kind of makes this moment of personal dullness seem altogether impersonal and relatively small and perhaps not such a Big Deal after all.
There are times in our lives that are meant for rest and incubation. Sometimes the quiet comes in the depths of winter, and we surrender more willingly to the call to be internal. But sometimes the quiet comes in the full heat of summer, and we resist. We must learn to trust that there is wisdom brewing. Our bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits know what we need, and in times of drawing inward, we are integrating, enriching our beings with the vitality that will allow our natural creativity to take root. In these windows of stillness, resting is your gift and your responsibility. Taking this time will enable everything you long for to flow. So relax. As much as you can, simply relax.