06 Dec, 2021
With Marisa Garau
In times of uncertainty and social upheaval, contentment can seem as elusive as a butterfly fluttering from flower to flower. One minute we are feeling okay and relaxed, only to be overwhelmed by worry and stress the next moment thanks to some alarming news story. With mindfulness we can transform our dependence on fleeting moments of happiness into a solid core of inner contentment: a source of positivity that we can always rely on.
I regularly receive impatient emails from clients who have recently embarked on the path of mindfulness, asking when they will finally find happiness so they will never experience emotional pain, uncertainty, fear and stress again. Yes, they readily admit that - within a week of practising with my easy approach - they are already feeling a lot more relaxed.
But after some time the novelty of mindfulness wears off. And so they loosen the reins a bit, then skip practising, and even begin to forget about their gratitude journal. Soon they find themselves yet again imprisoned in their old, inefficient thinking habits which cause stress and anxiety. What these clients actually want to know is how they can be completely mindful without practicing mindfulness - for the rest of their lives, naturally!
While we spend an enormous amount of time on our studies, work, cultural activities, sports and leisure, we find it hard to spend time on our emotional well-being, while that actually controls our whole inner world and affects all essential aspects of our existence: our relationships, health, work and finances. So isn’t it worth spending some time on being mindful as well?
When we practice mindfulness, we observe ego with a critical eye - day in, day out - since ego always comes up with new tricks. But the reward for keeping ego at bay is the best thing we can ever achieve: emotional freedom. Freedom from chronic stress, fear, envy, anger, frustrations… all those feelings that make life stressful and unfulfilling.
With emotional freedom we build a solid inner core of contentment, self-confidence, sincere attention, unconditional love, and compassion for people, animals and nature as a whole. And with these positive feelings we become a better, more patient, nicer person… for ourselves, and for the people around us.
Mindfulness helps us to return to our original goodness. This authenticity makes others appreciate us for who we really are, so we don't have to play roles anymore. We will also find that from now on life will become easier. Not because there will be no more problems and setbacks, but because we tackle these challenges with confidence and resilience.
Fortunately, there are more and more people who bravely choose to practise mindfulness, and who turn studying and improving their own psyche into a lifelong journey of discovery. I promise you that once you set out on this fascinating path, you will soon be happy to practise mindfulness because the reward is simply too good to say ‘no, thanks’ to.
n Marisa Garau is a mindfulness expert who has lived in Mangawhai since 2007. Find more practical tips on how to de-stress your life at her website or flick her an email if you’d like to have a personal chat: email@example.com