Sunday, June 27, 2010

to change the outcome

"Mindfulness is a process that regulates the flow of energy and information." Daniel Siegel (DS)

Something about mindfulness that really struck me that I never really processed before as I was reading The Mindful Brain. "Mindful awareness actually involves more than simply being aware....it helps us awaken, and by reflecting on the mind we are enabled to make choices and thus change possible outcomes."
Change the outcome... is obvious to me now. Like a picture that hangs in your home that eventually you don't see anymore. You pass by it without even a second glance. Then one day, a color catches your eye, you stop, and suddenly you see an image in the picture you never recognized before. And, the impression was there all along. You just had to re-adjust and view it from another angle.
Why would I want to change the outcome? For me, keeping my emotions in check, combating negativity and improving my thought patterns (to what serves me well, rather than damaging myself and those around me through my behavior) is hard work. The battle with darkness is real, even when I consider myself a glass half-full gal. I try not to be concerned over a family legacy of various diseases, addictions (food, alcoholism), and depression, but I recognize in myself that I must cultivate a dependance on the Divine daily and trust that I am a uniquely me and not defined or limited by my family legacy.
Another connection DS makes is prayer and religious affiliation. The overlap of these 2 in mindfulness is inseparable. Since returning from Malaysia, I have deliberately thrown myself into teaching and my children, often at the exclusion of finding connections. The yoga retreat I recently went on in Crested Butte & again at Family Camp in Arkansas slapped me the realization that community/family (sanga) is powerful and critical for a healthy mind. "Pausing to become mindful involves an internal sense of belonging." We all have a longing to belong.
I'm grateful for the view from another angle to spur me on to the possibility of change. Knowing in my heart what is true and learning to filter and sift through influences until the real meaning is uncovered is such a frustrating, exhilarating, and eventually awakening discovery.

"He is a letter to everyone.
You open it.
It says: Live."
-- Rumi

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