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Mindfulness and avoidance

To live a full authentic and thriving heart centred life we need to learn to turn towards our uncomfortable feelings and not turn away from or avoid them.

Avoidance brings momentary relief but we pay the price later on and it often only intensifies these feelings.

The tools of mindful attention, self-compassion, and acceptance are all a beautiful set of tools we can learn to cultivate to use with our uncomfortable feelings.These tools are also a supportive and compassionate space to sit with others in distress.

Many of us have been conditioned to judge our emotions and others in negative and often harsh ways. We’ve learned that if we show sadness, it’s a sign of weakness and that we are bad or wrong to feel anger or jealousy.

We give ourselves and others deadlines for grief as if there is a set time frame to remove a person from our hearts and minds and close the door... “move on”...

When coming face to face with tricky emotions, we often tell ourselves to be strong, hold it together, stop being silly or we believe there’s something wrong with us.

When we practice mindfulness in combination with self-kindness and we recognise our humanity (the fact that we all suffer as human beings), we cultivate self-compassion, a quality that has been linked to psychological well-being.

(Neff, K. D. & Germer, C. (2017). Self-Compassion and Psychological Wellbeing. In J. Doty (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science, Chap. 27. Oxford University Press).

Mindfulness is a journey that can start anytime.

There is no age limit, no boundaries or prerequisites.

Its open to all.

Its benefits are endless and its gift to us as individuals and those around us is priceless.

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