Do you ever feel like you’re not “zen” enough? There are a lot of cliches out there about what mindfulness is supposed to look like.
- “Mindfulness is drinking tea, rather than coffee”
- “Mindfulness is feeling grateful on-demand”
- Or “Mindfulness is exerting a kind of zen acceptance of difficulties and not getting upset”
And I get mindfully annoyed when I see these kinds of messages, because they are rigid and push us into self-judgment.
When ideas get popular, some media can start to water them down to a sort of black-and-white simplicity. And that’s tragic when it comes to the subject of mindfulness, because it is all about the grey areas.
You may never get to that zen ideal that is pictured on Instagram. But you can still be mindful, and that ability will change the quality of your life. Life is not supposed to be zen and calm all the time. We should be passionate about joys and injustices. And we shouldn’t be silent about them either.
Mindfulness is about feeling and living your life authentically & responsibly… So you don’t get too distracted by other people’s experience (whether on social media or in your own household) … And you use your power to give yourself compassion and contribute to goodness where you can.
So I invite you to join me in committing to a mindful 2019 … full of presence to your authentic experience and lots of self-compassion for it.
Jessica is a psychotherapist, relationship and addiction expert, and creator of The Visible Self ® and VisibleU™ system. Over the last 17 years she has helped hundreds of busy adults create healthier habits and more satisfying relationships.
Jessica received her Master’s in Applied Psychology from New York University, and completed mediation training at the Columbia University School of Law. She has held numerous clinical roles, managed clinical operations for a national EAP, and advised executives on employee-relations concerns at Fortune 1000 companies. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and a master instructor of mindful living …their Border Collie/Pointer-mix “Abby”.