Depression and anxiety make a mess of our minds and a mess of our lives. Managing that mess can become a full-time job. An exhausting, dispiriting job that often leaves us no better off for our efforts.
And most of us spend so much time and energy just trying to get ourselves ‘okay’ enough to function, we lose any sense of who we are beneath the struggle. It’s as though we ‘become’ our symptoms.
Combining the best of positive psychology, somatic awareness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness practices, with a hearty helping of personal experience, Mindfulness for a Messy Life gives you the tools and resources you need to get you back in touch with the healthy, vibrant human you are underneath all that mess–even if you’re totally unsure of who that is.
You will learn to relate to yourself from a place of understanding and acceptance; to treat yourself as someone valuable and worthy of love and respect. You will build an inner foundation of compassion, hope, and the kind of grounded optimism that both comes from, and fosters, meaningful action.
Ultimately, you will become your own greatest source of strength, inspiration, and support. In other words, your own greatest ally.
Not Your Everyday Mindfulness
I'm guessing you've come across the term “mindfulness” more than a few times in your search for mental health remedies. But what exactly is it?
The short and simple definition of mindfulness is present-moment awareness—whether of our thoughts, surroundings, emotions, physical state, words or actions.
The more in-depth (and slightly more poetic) definition would be something like: The gentle resting of our attention on what's happening within and around us, without judgment, attachment, denial, or disregard. It is a state in which we are both alert and receptive, able to observe our thoughts, emotions, sensations, and experiences without reacting to them, feeding them into a narrative or storyline, or attributing any particular meaning to them.
Mindfulness practices are exercises designed to cultivate that awareness of the present moment. But what happens when the thoughts presently running around your head are a toxic, tangled mess? When your emotions have taken over the reigns and are pulling you in every which direction? When your body seems to be at war with your mind?
Now while some may argue that the present is where it’s at, regardless of your mental and emotional state, I say it only becomes an ideal destination when it’s a healthy, hospitable place to be.
That’s why my approach to mindfulness is a little different.
"Messy Life" Mindfulness
Conventional mindfulness asks us to be consistently present moment focused
Conventional mindfulness discourages a focus on the past or future—seeing these as distractions.
Conventional mindfulness asks us to “sit with” our painful or uncomfortable emotions, allowing for and accepting whatever is there.
MfML offers free downloadable exercises, guided meditations, mini-workbooks, links to organizations, articles, videos, resources, and more!
You will learn how to use your thoughts, actions, and emotions as healing tools, and in the process, turn your mind into the ultimate ally.