Thursday, 9 July 2015

A Short Course In Mindfulness - 1 - Doing Your Best

There are lots of little sayings we all grew up with that became so familiar we stopped listening to them. In fact they were clichés before we were in school. Looking back some of them were very, very good indeed.

There are a pair of these - that is to say they go together very well, and they are:

"Do your best."

"Nobody's perfect."

If we actually live by these it makes everything else easier, so this is a good place to begin.


Yoda said:

"Do or do not, there is no try."

And he was right too. How do we reconcile these two?

Sincerity of intent. If you are genuinely doing your very best, no excuses, no lying to yourself, that is more than just trying. It really helps, therefore, to know your own mind, to be sure that you are being true to yourself. This will happen with mindfulness practice.

At this point some of you will balk.

"I already worry enough! This will just make it worse!"

No, it won't. This will change your worrying to caring deeply, which is quite different. Caring is positive and pro-active. Worrying is negative and a waste of time. Discovering the difference is one of the delights of mindfulness.

We all have limits. We can expand some of them, but right now we have a limit on our ability to do anything. Many people have a limit, for example, on how much they can read before they zone out. That's why I'm keeping this short. If it grabs you there are books you can buy to read much more. I want to keep your attention long enough to get you to be interested.

The most important thing is to have the right intent. That is a choice. Right now you can choose to follow this or not. Nobody will bother you if you choose not to. Just know that if you choose not to, and then later on think it may have been useful, you've missed an opportunity.

If you choose to follow it, then follow it with every fibre of your being. Not half-heartedly. No excuses. No "buts".

Nobody is perfect, and that's OK. Just do your best.

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