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mindfulness: which moment should I be in?

There’s a phrase used a lot in mindfulness: when in difficulty, just be in the moment.

By being in the moment we’re essentially no longer caught up in habitual thought patterns that might pull us into depressive rumination in the past, by being in the moment we’re no longer on automatic pilot, by being in the moment we’re no longer lost in daydream or fantasy, running our lives blindfolded, by being in the moment we’re no longer propelled into an anxious array of thinking about possible futures: the moment opens out to us like a flower radiating wholeness and joy.

This is an excellent idea.

How can we beset with our habitual hang-ups and unprocessed issues when actually they don’t exist right here, right now?

A simple idea, but quite a difficult practice with a potential problem: which moment are you being in? is it an angry moment? A moment of hate, of despair? Is that moment when I’m just the biggest jerk on the face of the earth?

The ontological partner to being is becoming. This is a little different to being’s opposite which is doing. Of course, there is nothing wrong with doing, but it can get problematic when it becomes a kind of habitual striving, stressfully leading us to burnout, or a doing that operates from a psychologically difficult part of ourselves. This is akin to being trapped in repeating cycles of thinking and feeling. Becoming is very different.

Becoming might rely on having a certain insight into ourselves. This results from a sustained inquiry into what it that we’re doing, as the Mindfulness Scholar Rob Nairn calls mindfulness “knowing what’s happening while its happening” to which he adds “without judgment”.

It’s often this judgment -on ourselves and others-that trips us up. Gaining insight into the moment that we’re in requires a self-compassionate inquiry into ourselves, a warts and all look inside ourselves. This self-inquiry seeks to unpack and liberate blocked and disabling patterns of self-relating. This insight leads to becoming.

Becoming what?

That, what we don’t know. That’s what is so exciting. Becoming more you, integrating the disowned parts of you into a healing collective, allowing you to align with new moments struggling to become you.

Can you be in a moment of becoming?

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