This writing project is about discovering what matters most. ‘The here and now’ is probably what matters most, and this is where mindfulness comes in. Whether we decide to do or not do – we are.
It may not be pleasant: we may be in physical or psychological pain, we may feel stressed or depressed, we may be bored or feel constrained, and the list goes on, but we have the opportunity to look at what is. Often when one stops and faces the situation one is in, without being tainted by judgment or by what should be, our perception changes. If we stop being the victim of thought, then even the most uncomfortable situation can become a learning opportunity. Very often, a simple solution arises or a feeling that things are not that bad after all. This attitude is what I have come to call contentment.
There is of course a relationship between the now and the next, and as humans we have been given an amazing tool which can help us envision and predict the consequences of our acts. This I call planning. Now there is an art to planning, and I don’t claim to have mastered it, but I am curious to explore different ways to plan. Lately, I wanted to understand how to work with more definite intentions. I prefer to use the word intention rather than ‘goal’, for in my view it can lead to seeing the future as a win-lose game. As well as giving direction, intentions gently influence attitude.
Is it possible to plan with an open mind, to be guided by a continually changing reality and to ask ourselves what matters most without answering the question? I have started to practice this by simply stopping and asking: “what matters most?”. I then watch and listen to my whole body and my thinking mind for reactions and try to see what makes me want to move, and unless it is utterly crazy, I give it a go. It may not be what matters most, but usually, it is in tune with myself, others and my surroundings. Most often, it is responsive to my needs or the needs of others.
This morning, I asked myself the question of what is the most important task today and realised that Creating this website was what mattered most to me at the moment. Instead of writing new material, I decided to revisit articles that I had written last year while in Bali. Rewriting may be as valuable as writing if it is done mindfully.
As an experiment, the next few blog posts are going to be an extended exercise in rewriting.