that it after it arrives and I’ve read it. Of course I couldn’t leave empty handed so I picked up a book on mindfulness, The Mindfulness Breakthrough, by Sarah Silverton.
Before I delve into some of what I read there, let’s start with a few of the psychological definitions of mindfulness as listed in Wikipedia;
“Several definitions of mindfulness have been used in modern psychology. According to various prominent psychological definitions, Mindfulness refers to a psychological quality that involves
bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis,
or involves paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmental or involves a kind of non-elaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is.
Bishop, Lau, and colleagues (2004) offered a two-component model of mindfulness:
The first component [of mindfulness] involves the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment. The second component involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance.”[9” ]
Of course the origins for the whole mindfulness things goes back to Buddhism and the whole notion of “being present.”
I also believe that how we view time, react to it, and use it, all play a pivotal role in how well we adjust to life and find peace with it all. I cover the element of time in some detail in The Freedom to Recover including the past and future’s role along with the present, and will add a few snippets from it in the next blog.
Sooooo, why should we care about any of this stuff when discussing the subject of overcoming dependencies?
The following observations only apply for those who may have had some kind of underlying issues that caused them to self-medicate with booze. If the reason for your drinking too much was simply a matter of; just because, then the answer is simple, just cut it out.
Anyway, back to Sarah’s book, on page 11 she makes the observation;
“When we are being mindful, we are choosing to notice the details or our experiences, just as they are in this moment and without judging or trying or trying to change them in the first place”. Then on page 12 she says; “As humans we all have the experience of finding aspects of ourselves that we find unsatisfactory in some way. Things are sometimes not exactly how we want them to be, and this is an expected and natural part of
Here’s one area where SOME people with dependency issues miss the boat. They DO expect that things should be the way that they want them to be and when they’re not, they don’t have the coping skills with which to accept the world as it is or to figure out ways to adapt to
She goes on to say; “When this is the case, it is human nature to want to seek change. We sometimes use a lot of energy to push against, fight with, resist or move away from our current experiences. Alternatively, if we like our experience, we will try to hold on to it and retain the status quo for as long as possible. When things are neither unsatisfactory nor just how we want them to be, we tend to tune out from these
experiences and not notice them.”
So many people who develop dependency issues do in fact push against or resist “what is” and try to escape from it and not face it. So they find that booze/drugs help them avoid having to deal with it. Then, finding that it works (albeit not indefinitely) they cling to it because to do otherwise, would cast them right back into the original situation that they couldn’t or wouldn’t deal with.
Next she points out; “As we practice mindfulness we discover and come to know deeply that these human tendencies can actually create distress in our lives; and instead of believing that external events alone are the cause of our distress and unhappiness, we start to see the role that each of us plays through our reactions to events”
I think this is a valid point, we tend to write scripts in our heads about all kinds of things without really analyzing what’s really going on. The realities of the world are just that and sometimes we try to read way too much into it instead of accepting the situation for what it is and adjusting accordingly after careful, rational and reasoning thought. We react emotionally before taking the time to see what’s really there.
She finishes up the segment with; “We can make choices about how we approach our life experiences and how we act in our life. Choosing to be awake to our experience through mindful; awareness can really help us with this”
I agree wholeheartedly. It is all about “making CHOICES” and in order to so efficiently, we need to deal with things as they are, when they are and use our rational thinking portion of our brain as opposed to making rash instinctual decisions based on our survival mode fight/flight brain that just wants to avoid pain. Because while you might escape feeling anything or you can avoid dealing with it by running away from it right now, it isn’t going anywhere and you’re going to have to face it and deal with it anyway. So you might as well get it right the first time and the only time to do that is NOW, in the present.
Ok, I’m rambling and this will all hopefully come together a bit more cohesively in the next few entries. As
always, these are only my takes and I’d love to hear yours, sooooo, comment as you see fit :->
Happy Friday and peace out,