“Mindfulness is to be in the present as an observer. We’re not in the past. ‘What could have happened, would have happened, should have happened,’ often leads to regrets and sorrow. We’re not in the future – the to-do list, the worries that lead to anxiety. We are in the present, as an active observer. Mindfulness allows people to see problems as they are, instead of amplifying them.”
- Francoise Adan in a talk on resilience
Resilience and Mindfulness are Connected
Resilience is based, in part, on believing that what you need to tackle is of a size that is ‘tackle-able.’ Adan notes that both regret and anxiety make issues bigger than they are, and that amplification may impede our ability to cope.
Fearing the future, in particular, can really keep you from making decisions that are right for you in your present moment. If I’ve learned one thing in the last decade, it’s that the future is completely unknowable. You might have cancer, uncover an affair, be in a car accident, have the unexpected joy of a new grandchild that inspires you to move closer to family, decide to quit your job 2 years early… there are both trials and joys in that unknowable future.
So how do you make yourself more resilient today? By looking, clear-eyed, at what your life really is like in this very moment. Feeling anxious about money? Okay. Without inflating that anxiety, what’s the true picture of your finances, and what are today’s options for today’s fears? Burned out in your job? How do you stay calm and evaluate whether it’s time to retire or find something else? How do your options align with your dreams and emotions?
Are you looking, mindfully, at your life and situation today, and looking at how to get the most joy you can? Once you strip away the amplification of the future and past, there are probably small steps you can take to make today’s life better and better.
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