Thich Nhat Hahn compares the Mindfulness Meditator to still water; able to reflect things clearly, exactly as they are. So often our view of life is laden with our interpretations and our judgments. We may be having a conversation with someone who seems distant and distracted for example. Rather than simply observe their state; we interpret it and distort it to match our own internal story of what is happening. When we are connected through mindfulness we are able to achieve incredible clarity and see things as they actually are.
Presence offers us detachment and objectivity and returns us to our internal deeper wisdom. Where food and the body are concerned, we can begin to decipher whether or not the perceptions we hold about our bodies are true or if they are a construct from our past or a fiction of our society. We can learn to tolerate our disappointments and respond to them in the way they are actually calling us to rather than stuffing them with food. When we become mindful in relation to our body we can look at it and see what was actually there. We see arms, legs, back, torso, feet. We can describe shape, dimension, curve, ridges and dimples etc without the heavy burden of judgment.
When we are free of the diet obsession we can look at our body and see what is actually there versus our usual patterns of seeing only ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘undesirable’, ‘pretty’, ‘disgusting’, ‘old’. These judgments only exist in the realm of our thoughts; they do not actually exist in the reality of the present moment. It is us who brings these judgments to life. They depend on us for their survival. The power to make all these painful conclusions about our body vanish rests in the present moment. The act of becoming present shifts everything. It creates incredible connection, if only for a split second, somehow the world is changed in that moment and we are returned to our inner wisdom; our still water.
So true, I really like this post! Being able to be mindful, observe and describe things in a non judgemental way is such a skill, and so liberating when we are able to do it. When we talk about judgements in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy we also add how those judgements fuel our negative emotions — which in turn makes us prone to further judgements, distorted thinking, etc. etc. Essentially, further away from who we are. The act of becoming present does shift everything, I totally agree. It is a skill that I am really trying to practice, again and again and again….