“Rather than changing or not having the thoughts and feelings that make up our experience, mindfulness is about changing our relationship to them.” -Judson Brewer
My three children were quite young when we moved to San Francisco. They’d wake up early with endless amounts of energy and we’d head out in search of yet another playground or park. One early morning, we happened upon Washington Square, where crowds of elderly Chinese people were doing Tai Chi. The children and I were mesmerized. It was a dance of sorts, a conversation with the trees and the air and one’s physical reality. Years later, I still call upon that image when I feel stuck, when I feel I’m a odds with life, and I’m reminded that maybe I need to channel my inner-Tai Chi practitioner and tap into the message life is sending to me, to work with life rather than against it, and to question where my resistance is. I remind myself of the flowing movements I saw in San Francisco all those years ago and that flow just feels better than going upstream; and let’s be honest—it rarely works! So the next time you encounter resistance, ask yourself—can I change my relationship to my current situation? It’s not easy, but with practice, we begin to feel the peace of being real with our thoughts and feelings and real with our situation.