Okay, that sounds a bit bossy but I kind of feel strongly about Mindfulness.
Last week this article came across my Google feed of news stories and because I have read most everything that comes across related to mindfulness, Google has me figure out and they sent this article. Imagine my surprise when I saw the title! I was not available to read it but I put it on my radar to go back and investigate. All the while replaying the bit I had read…. “Mindfulness as an antidote to the anxieties and stresses of modern day living could possibly make someone more selfish” Say What?
Like I said earlier, I feel rather strong about the benefits of mindfulness after having stumbling upon the ideas as a collective after my husband died 5 years ago today.
I was just trying to deal with life in a non-self-centered manner and pretty much needed to find ways to save me from myself and the HUGE loss I was dealing with, plus try to be a parent to our two teenage children.
After about a year of reworking me, I came across some readings that identified the activities I was doing as mindfulness, so there! I was sold!!! Nowhere in my journey could anyone call me or accuse me of being self-centered to the extent that this article implies. There are a few that I leaned on that might have rolled their eyes when they saw my name on their caller ID and I hope I didn’t overdo it but I will have to get over that feeling because it is in the past and no sense in worrying about it because I cannot change it, just learn from it.
Now though that I have read the article, I still disagree with the promise of the headline, that mindlessness can make us more self-centered. I disagree because unless all someone ever did was tell themselves how wonderful they were, which is not what mindfulness is about, then how can becoming aware, accepting and not judging be a bad thing?- it’s more of a reflective reality and learning experience, at least to me.
The article is called “Psychiatrist Says Mindfulness Makes it Easier for People to Become Self-Centered” You can put that title in your search bar if you’d like to read it.
Upon reading it in more detail I did note that the author made a small mention that this selfishness and inward looking behavior doesn’t happen to and says that in many cases mindfulness can increase their passion for the whole world.
The problem here is that this tiny piece is buried in the article and of course the groups that pick up a story like this go for the eye catching, head snapping headline.
But I took the time to read it and now my strong initial reaction actually has me laughing at myself for not breathing deep before I had a response like I did.
That’s okay, I am aware of how I reacted, I accept it because I am human and I mess up. Does my response sound self-centered? Maybe in the sense that I was reflecting on my own thinking but I don’t really think this matters a whole lot in the world today. There are many other issues that we need to use a FULLY aware mind to accept and deal out judgements or non-judgements on, so let’s save mindlessness for TV watching and more mindful of not letting headlines cause a knee jerk reaction. Lastly, we could try to be more mindful about taking mindfulness for what it is and not to the extremes.