After a quick Google, I found this definition: Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
I know that strictly speaking, the practice of mindfulness focuses on the present, but it is my belief that it is also healthy to recognise our regrets over our past as well as our fears about our future. For me, it is only by doing this, that I can be at peace in the present.
A major aspect of my life that I’ve been trying to change these past few months is exactly that. My relationship with my emotions was at an unhealthy stage. Slowly, but surely, I’m starting to improve it. It is important to not hide from our emotions, but to embrace them, understand them and learn from them. All too often I used to lock my thoughts away, trying to hide them from view, but sometimes you have to meet the devil in order to learn his name.
And on that point I’ve decided to introduce a little something new to this blog. I have been inspired by some fantastic bloggers who give their readers an opportunity to share their own stories.
A few months ago Jade got in touch and asked if I’d like to share my story on her blog. Jade was organising a project, Letters to the Mind, where bloggers could write a letter or a poem directly to their illness. You can find my contribution here. It has helped me greatly over the proceeding months. Jade has given me a means of viewing my illness as separate to myself. It can be all too easy to lose a distinction between our true self and the way illness makes us feel, but Jade has helped me so much with that, and I shall always be grateful to her.
Gabriela, likewise got in touch with me a few months ago, but it took me much longer to reply. Gabriela is currently running a Silently Pained Series another opportunity for us to share our stories and help others who suffer with similar struggles. She has provided me with much support over recent weeks.
Whilst I am yet to contribute to Cassie’s Illness Army, I have been inspired by her courage and commitment to share others stories about their battles with invisible illnesses. She has given a voice to so many people who are weighed down by their own illnesses.
I have named only three, but I could have mentioned many more. If you have some time this week, it’d be great if you’d look over their projects – I’ve included some links – perhaps you might even be inspired to contribute. Or who knows, maybe even start your own!
It took me a while to develop something that I thought could be constructive both in your recovery as well as for the other readers, but here we go…
The project is called Mindfulness & Me and there are just five questions.
- What is your biggest regret?
- What decision are you most pleased you made?
- If you were to give someone in your position one piece of advice, what would it be? What is your most valuable life lesson?
- What has been your biggest mistake, and what lessons has it taught you?
- What quality do you most admire in yourself?
If you’d like to include a little more about your story and your blog then that would be great, however if you’d like to remain anonymous then that’s alright too! Please email all responses to firstname.lastname@example.org . It’d be lovely to hear from you!
This community acts as a reminder that there is always someone out there who can relate to what we are suffering from. Talking to you and reading your stories provides some comfort, making what I am dealing with a little bit easier. I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it was not for the support of you. And so I’d like to extend these efforts to my own blog.
There are 7billion people in this world, and we all have an amazing and unique story to share. The dreams that we pursue are different, as are the challenges that we overcome along the way. My aim is for this to be a means for us to reflect on life’s challenges, the events that have shaped us along the way, and to find solace and support in other blogger’s stories. I hope that this can also help us share valuable life lessons, wisdom and experience.