Being stillness, right in the middle of the storm

In this blog Fe reflects that still and calm can co-exist with distress, and that this is the deep nature of Mindfulness. You're not trying to get some place else, but to be deeply connected right here

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A young child recently asked me who the Buddha was, as he peered curiously at a picture. I found myself grappling with how to say something that would make sense to him, and that would also be true. and useful.
I ended up saying the picture was there as a reminder to be truthful with ourselves, and to stay calmly open and loving, despite whatever we might feel. We sat and breathed together for a moment, and they then recommenced the fast pace of life usual for a person so small.
The incident got me reflecting on being truthful and calm, and what that actually means. Sometimes Mindfulness is talked about as a way of becoming calm, peaceful and still, as if that is the opposite of being disturbed and tormented, or busy and excited. This would indicate it helping you change your state of mind from one thing to another. In my experience this misses the point.
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain”
This quote hangs on my wall to remind me that Mindfulness is about being prepared to look at yourself, and despite what you see to access the stillness that is always there inside, even when you feel disturbed, tormented, busy, excited, happy or any other emotional state. It's about letting go of thoughts and emotions, not pushing them away and not holding on to them. It's about something deeper than just an emotion.
Mindfulness is about being prepared to sit still and face whatever is, however difficult, knowing that the calm and peace are not dependent on how you feel if you can open up and trust. It's like being the sky, and watching the clouds pass by.
It seems to me that Mindfulness is a lifetime's work, moment by moment. If you find your mind getting stuck in habitual patterns of thought, or you notice the same painful emotions coming up again and again, you might want to seek help to find a different way of being with those difficult patterns. If talking to a therapist would help, please get in touch.

Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

Hi. I'm Fe, and I'm here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I believe every client is unique, I work with you to help you explore, discover and grow in whatever ways are right for you. I work with a wide range of clients, both long and short term. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to UK clients online and in Gainford, Co.Durham in North-East England. I am UKCP Accredited and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists online and in person. Following a career in Organisation Development I became a therapist because it's my heart work. Before having my family and starting my private practice I worked in the NHS and mental health charities.