Featured in

Featured in: Tiny Buddha, Halifax Media Coop, Fine Fit Day, Simplify the Season, La Presse, Filles, Le Canada-Français

Monday, January 4, 2016

Mindfulness - Why?

BuzzFarmers, Flickr

''From a mindfulness point of view, 
we all have attention deficit disorder.'' 
(Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche)

Year after year, it's the same. We end the year reveling in excesses, we start the year making resolutions. Resolutions that, most often than not, will be reduced to distant memories just weeks into the new year - just look at how jam packed gyms become in January... only to quiet down by February. Even those of us who don't explicitly formulate resolutions could easily identify areas of their life where an improvement is called for, but fails to materialize.

This leaves us with two questions:

1) Why do so many of us feel the need to make resolutions?
    (Why do so many of us hope and plan to improve their lives?)

2) Why do so many of us fail at keeping those resolutions?
    (Why do so many of us fall short of implementing change?)

The reason we make resolutions is simple: Our life is not up to our expectations. We don't reach our goals. (Sometimes, we don't even know what our goals are.) We feel like we should have control over our existence, yet we keep steering it in the wrong direction, by making the wrong choices - big and small. We don't feel good about ourselves, or not often enough. Something is off. We want change. We want improvement.

The reason resolutions fail is more perplexing. We really do want to lose weight, stop smoking, spend less time in front of a screen and more time with our loved ones. We really do want to live a purposeful, fulfilling life in line with our values. We are full of great intentions.

The problem is one of mindfulness: we try to implement change but we fail to inspect our life genuinely to determine what, precisely, is at the bottom of our dissatisfactions and bad habits. Why exactly do we feel crummy? Why do we compensate with food, alcohol, shopping, or video games? 

This is where mindfulness comes into play. Mindfulness holds the key to a satisfying life that truly resembles us.  Embracing mindfulness might have a phenomenal impact on your life because it's been shown to make a difference in so many areas. For example, mindful eating would advantageously replace any diet. Implementing mindfulness in the workplace would significantly reduce stress, increase creativity and performance, improve interactions and decision-making, with the bonus of happiness and well-being.

Something tells me that mindfulness might be the ultimate resource and inspiration we need to tap into.

Mindfulness this Week

This week we will slowly acquaint ourselves with mindfulness. We will keep it very simple for now. Our only goal will be to pay more attention, to become more aware of what's going on. Every time we have a chance, we will ask ourselves: What is going on right now, outside of me and inside of me? We will welcome any answer that comes up. We will observe the sensations that emerge. There will be no judgement, no analysis, no further questions. We will simply state, for ourselves, how we feel this right moment... then we will continue with the rest of our day.

Let's begin right now. How do you feel at the moment? Take a moment to assess your internal state and the external situation. Then continue with the rest of your day.

Be part of the process:

Submit your comments below

Become a follower of the blog/subscribe by email (top left corner of this page)


  1. How do I feel right now? I feel like I'm in limbo. We have been on a waiting list for a condo in a seniors development for a year and eight months with no sign of anything positive happening.

    1. From what I remember, limbo requires flexibility... ;-) But on the serious side, I really wish for you that you get the condo you want! Best wishes.

  2. Lost. That is a word that fits today. Lost at trying to keep things together for my parents that are lost themselves. Lost at trying to find time to do all the stuff I should be doing but .... lost cuz there is no energy, no strength, no will to do stuff I need to do. Lost because I would really like to create something but just can't quit fluttering around to pick something. Lost at yet again, finding the beginning to taking care of me. And lost, like I lost my keys this morning and for the life of me I can't find them. I did misplace them at my parents so I know I drove there but did I lose them or did my dad pick them up and put them where they are safe and with his alzheimers they could be any where's. So at this moment in time lost is my word. It's not a staying word, it's by far a better word than others and after sharing this I can see that lost is just the middle place I am at.
    Blessings my friend. I will be interested in seeing what else you have up your sleeve.

    1. I am really sorry to hear about all those struggles, Julie. And at the same time, I am glad you are acknowledging it all; hopefully that takes some of the weight off your shoulders. Best wishes.

  3. I will only halfheartedly joke that it is low expectations, not mindfulness that is the key to a satisfying life. Mindfulness is more the midwife to the birth of those low expectations.

    That said, when we lower our expectations of ourselves as well as others, fulfilling the changes we wish to make on New Year's day or any other day becomes much more manageable. I genuinely believe this.

    Looking forward to more from you on this :-)

    1. You always have a wonderful way of expressing ideas! This is smart: " Mindfulness is more the midwife to the birth of those low expectations."

  4. I agree that mindfulness is so important. From what I see, almost every discussion and recommendation involving "experts" is focused on how can we get people to do (lose weight, etc) without their being aware of their actions. Of course, whatever they come up with never works. Mindfulness does take effort, but what's it all about in this life anyway? If you don't want to use your mind, better luck next life.

    1. Well, that is really smart too! "If you don't want to use your mind, better luck next life." Roy and you should write a book together. :-)

  5. Mindfulness is the one that got away! I'm still trying to get it to stay in my life.

  6. I love how simple youve broken it down into.
    I need that reset right now...

  7. Right now? Internally, I'm mindful that I've eaten way too many sweet things over the Festive Season. Externally, I am sucking on chocolate to make it last longer. So glad we don't have to DO anything about this. :-)

  8. I know I'm a little late to the party but I just found your blog and I'd like to jin in. :)

    Unfocused. That's what I am. I have so many loose ends that I can't seem to tie up, which, in turn, makes me feel lost, with a dash of failure. I feel like my life is passing me by and I'm just standing on the outside watching it.

    1. Welcome Stacey! Happy to have you in for this year of mindfulness! We will work on that focus situation. :-)