Mindfulness is about being fully present, in what is happening, TODAY. Mindfulness is choosing to pay attention in life, to fire your auto-pilot and really wake up to your experiences and interactions with the world, without judgment. We, as a culture, tend to be very roped into seeking the “next best thing”. Think about it…we want the next smartphone before we even figure out how to work the one we have, there are dating apps that make small talk and polite conversation irrelevant and take you straight to the bedroom, there is a drive-thru or mobile ordering app for darn near everything you could want! We live on fast forward. It doesn’t work and it is causing a decline in life satisfaction and relationship satisfaction, all the while creating an increase in depression, divorce and suicide rates.
The anthesis of mindfulness is living in anxiety. I am wondering why we are we so obsessed with the post-apocalyptic worlds that we think would be generated after the fall of our modern civilization? They all have something in common: NO technology and a “takes a village” mentality. Ironically two of the tenants of our current society that we say we like (our tech toys and our individualism).
The Walking Dead, The Hunger Games, Divergent, 2012, Lost, Jericho, The Book of Eli, World World Z…the list is really quite expansive. And yet, we continue to live IN our phones and in isolation from one another. I do wonder if one purpose of these shows, aside from entertainment, is to warn us/show us what COULD happen if we do not change our ways…and yet…
Take a moment to read this age-old fable:
The Fox and the Goat (Aesop’s Fables)
A Fox one day fell into a deep well and could find no means of escape. A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the same well, and seeing the Fox, inquired if the water was good. Concealing his sad plight under a merry guise, the Fox indulged in a lavish praise of the water, saying it was excellent beyond measure, and encouraging him to descend. The Goat, mindful only of his thirst, thoughtlessly jumped down, but just as he drank, the Fox informed him of the difficulty they were both in and suggested a scheme for their common escape. “If,” said he, “you will place your forefeet upon the wall and bend your head, I will run up your back and escape, and will help you out afterwards.” The Goat readily assented and the Fox leaped upon his back. Steadying himself with the Goat’s horns, he safely reached the mouth of the well and made off as fast as he could. When the Goat upbraided him for breaking his promise, he turned around and cried out, “You foolish old fellow! If you had as many brains in your head as you have hairs in your beard, you would never have gone down before you had inspected the way up, nor have exposed yourself to dangers from which you had no means of escape.”
Look before you leap.
Perhaps mindfulness could remind us to look before we leap. Look at the data trends before you buy your 4 year old an IPAD, do some research the health risks/benefits of a product before jumping on the bandwagon just because it’s “trending”, look at these movies as more than just random entertainment…see them as a warning as what could happen if we don’t change! Dare to be different. Dare NOT to download every popular app. Dare NOT to give into every urge you have for instant gratification. Dare NOT to pay hundreds of dollars for the “cool” shoes/boots. Dare NOT to pay $5 for the logo on your coffee mug when you could put that money away for a rainy day. Dare to have an opinion that is DIFFERENT than the masses…afterall, isn’t that what Catniss did? And she became a hero…