You learn how to disassociate yourself from the pain & grief and take control of the whims of emotion. I am reminded of David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon College commencement speech, where he expounded on how “it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your own head.” He goes onto ask the audience:“…
When we become mindless slaves to the ebb and flow of life, we are running on autopilot.
We embrace the notion of busyness as a badge of honor because it validates our importance — the irony that we actually hate being busy goes unnoticed.
It is the difference between “I am sad” and “I am experiencing sadness.” Learning the ability to separate oneself from emotion is one of the most powerful skills of the steady mind.
This is a critical step to transform reactiveness to patience & calmness.
For years, I was a prisoner of my thoughts, seemingly powerless to the cruel circumstances that life had bestowed upon me.
My mind was caught in a proverbial hamster wheel that kept reaching the same conclusion: that my personhood had no worth, and that for some unknown reason, I was not enough.And yet we do not have the same attitude towards attention.Attention is a finite resource — the upper bound for an individual’s attention is 24 hours in any given day.But when we do not consciously engage with presence, our minds are overtaken by the relentless stream of news, advertisements, and social media.As simple as this sounds, we take for granted that our presence is perpetually under attack from the attention economy.Spread out over a lifetime, the moments that are stolen by Instagram feeds and Twitter streams are moments we will never get back. Technological evolution outpaces biological evolution by leaps and bounds, which leaves our species contending modern day societal forces with adaptations that were inherited in a prehistoric era.Man errs on the side of reactiveness because nature selected those that perceived danger the fastest.It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in the head.The English writer and Anglican cleric John Donne is considered now to be the preeminent metaphysical poet of his time.Meditation has emerged into the public consciousness in the last couple of decades, and research into their effectiveness for mental health disorders has proliferated.A 2016 review & meta-analysis of studies on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) validated previous studies that found MBCT to be more effective than cognitive therapy or standard psychiatric medication to prevent depressive relapse.