We may ponder why the mind is like this for a moment or two but, basically we are practicing accepting each moment as it is without reacting to how it is… Jon Kabat-Zinn
I, like so many, am addicted to qualifying my life: this is good; this is bad; this I must change; I can’t be happy or fulfilled until this happens. It’s like I don’t believe I desserve happiness until everything is perfect – at least that’s been my experience. Along with this mindset comes the added pressure for me to be perfect too. When I do something ‘wrong’ or don’t succeed in a way that I thought I could, then I get down on myself. The mood lifts when something ‘good’ happens like I give a successful workshop or I get an exciting text. It’s a never-ending cycle of action and reaction submerged in intense judgment. I realize that I will never be able to relax, or truly be mindful (and yes, even happy) in each given moment if I succumb to this mental habit. So, I meditate.
One of the values of a daily meditation practice is how it can train us to be more content in any given moment. It also helps us to accept things as they are instead of pontificating about how much better life could be. There is gratitude in each moment, even the difficult ones. And so, I’m living life more fully and am not so hard on myself. My meditation gifts me tools in which to observe my mental habits with curiosity rather than judgment and to plot out a game plan for the things I wish to change.
I’ve learned that it’s not as important to qualify each moment as it is to simply live it without the burning need to change it. And while I’m not perfect, or perfectly accepting of myself, I am feeling a bit better. I am finding that consistently working on my mindful progress is bringing me closer to a life of perfect imperfection.