Paying Attention With Acceptance

As you begin paying more attention to your inner landscape, you will discover that the mind is very active with uncomfortable thoughts that you've been trying to avoid.

Use awareness and acceptance to allow these thoughts to arise:

  • Awareness is acknowledging that you had a particular thought or feeling.
  • Acceptance means that you didn't try to get rid of that thought or feeling, you just let it be.

This probably doesn't sound fun, but it's a necessary step to free yourself from being held prisoner by your bothersome thoughts. Sometimes, the only way past discomfort is through discomfort. So when a tough thought comes up, either during formal mindfulness practice, or at any other point during your day, try not to push it away. What you will come to experience by restraining from avoiding uncomfortable thoughts and sensations is that they will pass all by themselves and in fact at a much quicker speed then when we are actively attempting to not experience them.

"Mindfulness helps develop our willingness to experience emotions, our capacity to be open to even painful emotions. It helps give us the courage to allow distressing mood, thoughts and sensations to come and go, without battling with them. We discover that difficult and unwanted thoughts and feelings can be held in awareness, and seen from an altogether different perspective-a perspective that brings with it a sense of warmth and compassion to the suffering we are experiencing." - http://mbct.co.uk/

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