There was a theme that ran through most of my sessions with clients this week. This happens sometimes. Serendipitously, an idea shows itself to be helpful in different ways to most of my clients in a period of time. Also, I do use the idea of mindfulness a lot in session, because I have found it be helpful, and there is a lot of research to back up its usefulness.
Right now, I am reading a book on mindfulness that has been increasing and deepening my understanding of mindfulness. Good Morning, I Love You by Shauna Shapiro. I thought I would share some of her insights . Whatever your goal is for therapy and therefore your life, I think these three “pillars of mindfulness” that Shauna has researched and discusses in her book will help.
Intention. What does it mean and how do I do it? In session, someone will say “I want to deepen my relationship. ” or “I want to be calmer and less reactive.” or “I want to decrease my negative self-talk.” These are all intentions. Every morning you can state your chosen intention to yourself. Then throughout the day, as those moments come up (and we all have them) where we want to react instead of respond our intention reminds us to pause and reconnect to who we want to be instead of relying on old patterns of behavior.
Attitude. When we are being mindful, we want to maintain an attitude of kindness and curiosity. Increasing positive self-talk means showing yourself kindness. “Huh. That’s interesting. How can I look at myself differently in this moment?” would be an example of showing yourself an attitude of kindness and curiosity.
Attention. When we are mindful we are staying in the present moment and responding to what is happening right now. Meditation is a tool we can use to increase our ability to pay attention when situations are uncomfortable or difficult. Pay attention to where you are right now, listen with attention to what is being said and respond accordingly. This will help you meet your intention.
Whatever path we are on, research has shown that mindfulness will help widen and deepen the path making it easier to reach the intended goal.