Some time ago on one of Sue Knight's modelling classes I randomly (is anything truly random?) decided that I envied my dog who could just sit by the Aga and 'be'. She didn't have to achieve anything but could just be there, be loved for who she is and be totally in the present without having to worry about being fed or walked because she would just go with the flow and be OK with that. Instead of trying to manage life, anticipating problems and planning how to manage whatever happened, she could just be still and calm. I tried to model that state but I didn't succeed. When we model someone we need to not only copy exactly what they do but we have to get the underlying belief and this wasn't going to be possible with my dog. She's very bright but she can't talk!
As I've been practising the different mindfulness meditations and taking part in the exercise set by our tutor Gayle Creasey, I've gradually learnt to be still and just 'be'. When I am aware of a thought, I can now notice that thought and not let it capture my attention away from being in my body and following my breathing. Each thought is like a bus going past the bus stop. It's up to us to decide, do we want to get on that bus? Is that bus going to take us where we want to go? These buses might be anxious thoughts, planning thoughts, sad thoughts and we have the choice whether we want to let them consume us or whether we want to let that bus go by.
By having sessions of mindfulness every day I have managed to let buses go by that I would previously have jumped on. Those buses that get you arguing about something unimportant, getting annoyed by an untidy child's bedroom, worrying about my elderly parents or my grown up children. It doesn't mean that you pretend you don't have any worries but you tackle them from a calm state and have the choice whether you want to react or not.
Mindfulness also enables you to stand back and review your patterns, the way you respond to situations that may not be terribly helpful. In a sense you are giving yourself therapy but it isn't about talk, it's silent meditation where your breathing is your focus and anchors the calm state where you can notice the thoughts, name them, accept that your mind will wander, and gently and kindly without judgement, bring yourself back to the present.
I am really surprised at how much I've enjoyed the course and being still. I've even taken up Yoga now!