Mindfulness as Tool (not a Rule) in Psychotherapy


Mindfulness is a wonderful, helpful tool in our healing journeys. I’m a huge fan of mindfulness. It has very much improved the quality of my life. When I practice mindfulness more frequently, I often feel better- more grounded, more embodied, even calmer.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
AND I continually remind myself that I am not a better human if I do (or don’t) practice mindfulness!! I first had this realization a while ago on a mindful meditation retreat. I was sitting there hours into this retreat & realized my brain was tired, I didn’t want to be present- I wanted to “checkout” for a bit. Initially I found myself trying to “notice that” & “gently redirect my attention back.” I could feel myself tensing up, getting frustrated (which I was trying to “just notice”). Then, it hit me: I felt like I “should” be mindful. It was creating internal conflict in me because mindfulness is rooted in non-judgement yet I was judging the part of me that needed to checkout.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Once I acknowledged this- the tension broke. I relaxed. I saw the value in being in this moment. I could “sit in the discomfort” & practice noticing this experience- there’d be value in that. AND I had permission not to do so. I could checkout (& I did). A little later, I was able to return to my practice.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
For me, I cannot healthily separate mindfulness from self-compassion.

There is value in being mindful & we need to be kind with ourselves as we invite ourselves into greater awareness. It’s okay to “step in” & then “step out.” No judgement, no mandates. Helpful tools. Do what works for you, your body, in your life & circumstances today! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀