Welcome to Week Three of Reset Button's Online Mindfulness Course.
Week Three: Stop Striving and Start Living
Do you find yourself making plans and setting goals, believing that you'll be happy once you have achieved them?
Do you beat yourself up for not being 'good enough'?
Are you always looking so much at what you could have that you don't appreciate what you do have?
In today's society we are taught to be very goal orientated. From a young age we are expected to aim for academic goals, emotional goals such as "to be happy” and future plans.
Having goals in itself is not bad. It's a good idea to have a compass that guides our lives and gives us a sense of achievement when they are reached. Problems occur when we attach our emotional wellbeing firmly to the achievement of those goals and think ‘everything will be fine as soon as I get there’.
We never really know what is going to happen in life and there is a good chance that things will get in the away of the achievement of these goals. Or that actually when we achieve them they do not bring us the emotional rewards that we were hoping for. In addition when we focus exclusively on our goals, we activate the 'doing' mind and miss out on large chunks of our lives that could include rich experiences that make them feel meaningful.
By becoming more focused on the journey itself rather than the destination, we become more alive to the full experience of living. We can connect with what the values behind those goals are and live those on a daily basis rather than waiting for something to happen so that we can finally be happy.
When we become very goal focused, we generally notice more tension and stress. For example, imagine you are hillwalking and what you are thinking about is getting to the top. You really notice your tiredness and focus on the relief you will get when you can finally stop. But if you think about the values that have been present when deciding to take that walk, for example, connecting with nature, taking care of your health, spending time outdoors, you will get a lot more out of your experience as you pay attention to and act on these values throughout the whole journey.
Meditation has no other goal than for you to be yourself. The aim is to be something that you already are. For many of us this represents a real challenge but through practice we slowly reveal our true selves and move toward a new way of seeing ourselves, one in which we are trying less and being more.
Week Three Audio Session (9 minutes)
Please find a nice quiet place where you can listen to this uninterrupted. Relax and enjoy it, don't forget that this is something you are doing for yourself.
Practices for Week Three
Mindful Movement Meditation and Expanded Sitting Meditation (10 minutes,12 minutes)
This is your meditation practice for week three.
This week you have two meditations. Mindful Movement meditation and Expanded Sitting Meditation.
It is important to do these two meditations one followed by the other. Bring an attitude of non-striving to the first one and see how that affects the second one.
Practice these two meditations back to back once a day for minimum six out of the next seven days.
Please feedback to us any comments or questions on the Week Three forum. CLICK HERE TO GO TO FORUM
Leave for work 10 minutes earlier than you normally would do.
Use this opportunity to travel mindfully.
If there are any parts of your journey during which you walk, look up, see what you can see.
Take the time to notice the trees or any other vegetation around you. See if there are any reflections or shadows on objects. Listen to the sounds around you.
If you are driving or getting on public transport, notice any moments of impatience and turn these into an opportunity to be mindful. For example, if you are at a red traffic light or in a queue of cars, look at the qualities of the lights, are there lighter or darker parts? Do they move at all?
Notice how your body feels when you are not striving to get somewhere but just noticing your environment.
Want to share your experience? Use #habitreset on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and share your pictures or feelings.
Each week we will be providing some additional materials from mindfulness experts that we respect and find inspirational. These are not essential but we strongly recommend that you take a look when you can.
Jon Kabat-Zinn explains the attitude of non-striving, how difficult it is for those of us in Western society and how healing it can be.
Introduction to Mindful Eating
Why do we eat? It turns out it’s normally not just for food. This video discusses how we can become more aware of what you are eating whilst at the same time increasing enjoyment of eating and using mealtimes as moments of calm.
In Your Journal
Write down five things that you have noticed this week.
Write down a moment that you reached a goal, and you felt differently to how you had imagined.
Write down a current goal that you have, and write down the benefits you hope you will get in reaching it.
Now look at the benefits you have written and think of a small way in which you can feel some of the benefits this week.
Example: I want to get a job promotion because it will make me more fulfilled and respected.
What could I do? Make an effort to create a piece of work you are proud of and share it with a colleague. (fulfilled)
Take initiative to do something positive for your team. (respected)
Name one thing this week that you felt good about.
What do you feel most grateful for this week?
REMEMBER: Q&A FORUM FOR WEEK THREE - WE WILL CHECK IN AT TIMES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK AND REPLY TO YOUR QUESTIONS. CLICK HERE TO GO TO FORUM