MIND FULL? MINDFUL
by Carole Cummings, LSW,
Alum and Counselor at Maryville
Mindfulness was once something I judged as outrageously unrealistic and unattainable – NOT for me. I resented people who claimed to use it.
I was anxious all of the time, heavy with wonder and worry, a victim to the anxiety that haunted and hunted me down. I couldn’t keep up with myself.
One day, I finally chose to look into mindfulness myself, instead of habitually moping around some more. Another rock bottom. I was so determined, mostly out of frustration, that I ended up falling asleep to guided meditations each night. Then, I started practicing mindfulness on my walks with my dog. Moments came and moments went – I could bare them if I chose to use those skills I accidentally learned to use. I became mindful out of spite, to prove someone wrong and get my "aha" moment. But the aha was on me. I was the one receiving the benefits of mindfulness without even realizing it.
Mindfulness may not have worked at first, but the magic is in the structure and the belief. Life began to feel much lighter, and it became manageable.
Today, I use mindfulness just as much as I drink water, and I drink a whole lot of water. I can create and transport myself to a place of peace in nearly any situation, no matter how awful. It is a skill that requires structure, patience, and practice. I’ve given up on it a thousand times, but I always came back.
I no longer live in the future and I no longer question the past. I can always get caught up, but those moments are few and they are brief now. Mindfulness changed my life. My mind is not so full anymore.