A couple of weeks ago I was sharing a therapeutic & self-knowledge path in 7 steps and here I am today repeating number. Not that numerology is a compass in my life but number 7 seems to be a magical ancient number in many cultures. Today I bring it back to approach the concept of mindfulness just like John Kabat-Zinn understands it, stripped of any religious or even spiritual apparel, simply as an efficient tool to deal with stress, to quiet the mind & to live the present moment with full awareness (for those who want to practise this kind of meditation path I also recommend the system designed by Artie Wu).
1- To live the present moment, managing it as it comes and only when it comes, not before or after is gone. If I project myself into the future I can fall into the anxiety of anticipation; if I get hooked in the past I tend to go around emotions that can drag me into depression. The present is the only real thing I can hold into and in the present I have the ability to act.
2- To avoid judging others & judging myself. Even if it is against or in favour, judgement always creates emotional tension. If I do without judging I allow myself to know more about reality as it is, from a more objective & unbiased point of view. That is the first step towards freedom & welfare, accepting things & people just as they are without pursuing to be right or needing to convince anyone about anything, without trying to get others in one side or the other. Everything is perfect just as it is. Everything. Even the most terrible facts have a purpose.
3- To trust our own abilities, wisdom & resources. Finding happiness in whatever life is offering me right here, right now, at every moment. Taking on what I truly am including faults & virtues, being responsible of them all, changing what I dislike & empowering what serves me well. I am not a completed piece, neither an unfinished being; I am a person going through a growing process and it is within my power to cast & shape as it best suits me & my personal purpose in life.
4- To foster an open mind, just like a beginner, someone who is learning something for the first time. Each situation has something to teach me and every moment is unique if I can look at it with enough curiosity, throwing myself to experience it with enthusiasm, feeling grateful & knowing that it is another step on my journey. A gift. A game. An opportunity to keep growing.
5- To focus on results but also to enjoy the journey. Destination is important but the trip itself is even more relevant. It is all about doing my best every time, with motivation & a positive intention. The results would depend on what I do during the journey. That’s why it is important to focus on each stage of it and on the trip itself.
6- To accept reality just as it is, being aware of its limits. Learning how to let go might be the most important lesson to be learnt by any alive being (especially the human). A Zen proverb reads: “Let go or get dragged”. Others say: “What you resist, persists; what you embrace, dissolves”, and transforms me too. Accepting does not mean resigning. Accepting means to be aware of my ability to act, my power or influence. That makes me free & happy.
7- To look after oneself & treat me with love & kindness. How important is to be able to have a good relationship with myself! To give me all the care & attention, the respect & understanding that I need in each occasion. That is how I can conquest the mental opening that I will be able to export to other experiences and people. This relationship with myself means investing high amounts of acceptance, love, patience, openness, compassion & motivation.
7 ingredients, 7 access keys to a way of seeing & doing that is wider & deeper. Everything happening around us can be better understood from here and life becomes a more conscious & enriching experience.
“As evening comes down, the boy
Buried in thought behind the glass
Watches it rain. The glow from a burning
Streetlamp makes the white rain
Stand out against the darkened air.
The room he has to himself
Wraps him in its warmth
And the thin curtain, guarding
The window like a cloud, whispers to him
That the moon has things under a spell.
School fades from his mind. This is
A break for him, with the book
Full of stories and pictures
Under the study lamp, the night,
Sleep, hours that weigh nothing.
The boy is living in the heart
Of his small power, with no desires
So far, no memories, never suspecting
That time waits out there,
With life, ready to spring.
The pearl is taking form in his shadow.”
(Child behind the window by Luis Cernuda)