Thursday, January 30, 2014

Practicing Awareness


Go Red For Women presents: 'Just a Little Heart Attack'

License:  Standard YouTube licence

Even with awareness as a central tenant in the use of mindfulness, the action is inherently important. One might even argue that the “awareness” itself is an active process. When one is practicing awareness, one is tuning into all the senses. Let’s consider at the example in the video. The actress playing the role of busy mom portrays a woman who is “aware” at least on some level of her symptoms. We see her untucking her shirt, wiping sweat, and guzzling a handful of antacids. By the size of the bottle we can even guess that discomfort is not an uncommon experience for her. Yet she continues on, despite her awareness even in the face of symptoms that are brought to her “attention” by family members. Even as the mom speaks to 911 about her “little heart attack” we are privy to hints at her consciousness and thoughts of cleaning the house being in conflict with her bodily feelings and information consistent with her having a heart attack. The next step in true mindfulness is to notice the “all” of the situation, including the self-awareness of the bind, in order to set the stage for change.

So it seems to ring true, that it is futile to practice mindfulness without intention. This can be intention toward the breath…intention to bring wandering thoughts back…intention to sitting through uncomfortable feelings. Perhaps then, a crucial aspect of true mindfulness practice is taking responsibility by setting an intention and creating change, along with the act of noticing.

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