Beginning mindfulness is quite confronting the very first time. Like returning to jogging after a few years, or you might expect your muscles to be sore the next day. In mindfulness terms, you might experience an upswelling of impatience or even frustration. This is entirely natural and will pass.
Here’s some simple advice to prepare before you come along for your first mindfulness practice.
As you get into your mindfulness practice, the first thing you will notice is just how active your mind is.
And this is quite unsettling.
As we turn the light on our awareness, you might become aware of your thoughts more specifically.
And you will notice how quickly your mind skips from one to the next to the next – and it comes quite naturally to judge yourself.
You might tell yourself
“I’m no good at this,”
“I just can’t stop my thoughts coming one after the other..”
We have a tendency to weave stories around what we can and can’t do – which is something else you will learn in mindfulness. For now, be gentle with the story you are telling yourself around mindfulness. If you can, allow yourself some space and gentleness – you can do this.
And, as you try and try again and still can’t settle into some sort of “inner peace” it’s totally normal to get frustrated and impatient and want to get up and quit.
This is the first lesson of mindfulness. Of patient self acceptance.
We don’t judge, as the first thing. We just sit, observe a thought arising, and then let it go. And as we repeat this simple process, we do not judge ourselves.
Sitting in mindfulness is first, before anything else can occur, about being non-judgmental and accepting things and just observing them.
This is one of the central points for happiness further along your mindfulness journey. A wandering mind is not a happy mind. Beginning now, as we cultivate that focus by bringing our attention gently to the present, we are overcoming the wandering mind – and thus are truly on the path to happiness.