Living in the here and now is portrayed as an art to be admired. Lifestyle magazines splash it over their covers, and training agencies advertise with it. But they forget to mention that the here and now is often not much fun at all. And that we then make use of our habits to wander off and leave the here and now. In all the enthusiasm, this part of the mindfulness story is often skipped over.
Mindfulness is an invitation to be present at all the experiences in your life, not only the enjoyable ones – the high points and low points as well as the grey middle zone. Of course, you have your preferences, but you don't let them distract you. You drink every cup without skipping a single one.
It takes courage to make a radical choice for the present moment, to feel that which is, regardless of what that is.
There is an American saying: Can you keep your heart open in hell? The reverse is also true: Can you keep your heart open in heaven? And the middle zone, the ocean of normal daily experience? Can you also be present for that as well, without wandering off?
That is what mindfulness is about, about allowing yourself to be touched by every single moment, feeling life as it comes to you, down to the finest nerve endings and deep into the bone.
It takes nerve to live with an open heart.
From: Rob Brandsma, Elke dag mindfulness, Scriptum Uitgeverij