I remember many years ago, before I learned mindfulness, I was experiencing a lot of tension and anxiety and my thoughts were running on a negative loop. I was quite frustrated with myself because only a few days beforehand, I had thought that I was in a ‘good’ place – feeling optimistic and trusting life. That evening, I struggled to let go, to shift the feelings of anxiety and the tension in my body and to get back to feeling calm and trusting, but to no avail.
Later, I had a dream that I went outside in the rain and was desperately searching everywhere trying to find the rainbow that I knew must be there. Then someone called out to me and said: “But it’s right there. You’re already standing in it.” I couldn’t see it because I was standing in it. Obviously, I know that it isn’t possible to stand in a rainbow and still see it, but the next morning, the message from my subconscious was quite clear: often, we’re so busy trying to get somewhere, to find or achieve something or to change things that we don’t have enough awareness to appreciate where we already are and what we do already have.
When we do stop and notice, we often find there are little ‘treasures’ right in front of us: raindrops sparkling in the sunlight; feelings of love or appreciation; pleasant sensations in our feet as we walk; the sound of a bird singing…We may even find that what we were searching for is already here.
Learning to be mindful is a gift to ourselves that can deeply enhance our wellbeing.