The Downside of Mindfulness

If you know me or have spent more than a few minutes reading through my posts, you know I am a big advocate for intentional living. Mindfulness, being aware of where I am, who I am, what I want, and what I need to do, is something I work on daily. One of my favorite places to be is in my own head, analyzing, questioning, and thinking. But here’s a true truth: Sometimes being mindful sucks.

June seems to have become my proving ground for how invested I really am in my messages of intentional living and daily mindfulness. Aside from my commitment to post something on P&O every day this month (24 days left! Woot!), I dove into some other projects that require a lot of planning and commitment. I thought having a plan would make the process of completing these projects easy. It’s simple. Just follow the plan. But for someone like me, following a plan requires more mindfulness than I anticipated. Sticking with something, even when it is difficult or boring, requires a level of intentional choice that I did not know I was capable of until this week. And, while I am so proud of all the not-failing-miserably that is happening over here, I have to honor how much choosing to be cognizant of my choices and willing to make better choices sucks sometimes. It’s layers and layers of mindfulness!

Intentional living is hard because it takes away many of the excuses that I use when I don’t want to do what my higher self tells me I ought to do. I have to be responsible. I have to make decisions. I have to take control of my life instead of letting the winds of whatever blow me about. It is so much easier to just drift, to say that I’ll get serious tomorrow.¬†Intentional living requires an awareness that can be overwhelming at times. It can seem like a curse, seeing meaning behind every word and action, working my mind-muscles to see all angles of an issue before snapping to judgment, revisiting the ‘Am I living the best life possible? Am I the best person possible?’ questions, feeling guilty that life came at me too fast and I forgot to be mindful for awhile. It can seem boring, unadventurous, stilted at times, like I am over-thinking everything. (I probably am.) It’s not all fun and games and accomplished goals and contentment. Truth is, it’s a bit dusky tonight as mindfulness is showing its dark side to me, but I know, deep down inside, that there is the shining light of success at the end of this temporary tunnel.

Have you experienced the dark side of mindfulness? What helped you keep going?

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2 responses to “The Downside of Mindfulness

  1. About 7 years ago I fell apart and had to make a change. I had to be aware of my thoughts and make a conscious effort to change them. I have never been so miserable in my life. Knowing that I was the cause of my own misery was hard. I cried alot and reminded myself I was taking baby steps and to be thankful for my progress and put away the baseball bat used for beating myself up when I faltered.

  2. Oh my goodness. “Knowing I was the cause of my own misery was hard.” I really connected with this comment because I was there, too, a few years ago. I’m glad we both are learning to put away the baseball bats. Gratitude and grace…much needed tools for the journey of life.

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