Much of our lives is lived in the ‘doing’ mode.
This is an essential part of being human. It is what makes us unique, enabling us to solve problems, face and deal with threats or challenges, and generally to move forward with our lives. The ‘doing’ mode, like fire, is a good servant but a terrible master. If we are lost in the car, we use the ‘doing’ mode to solve the problem: we reach for a map, or turn on the Satnav if we have one. This approach takes us from where we are to where we want to be. But if we are 5ft 6 inches tall and long to be 6 feet tall, there is no ‘doing’ solution for this physical reality. Such unrealistic longing leads to dissatisfaction with oneself, possibly with others too, and may even lead to depression. The terrible lure of ‘if only’, the constant brooding on our perceived shortcomings, rarely leads to positive change.
The ‘being’ mode.
Mindfulness aims to encourage the ‘being’ mode of mind, by approaching the ‘problem’ in a different way, through moment-to-moment awareness of what is happening in our minds and bodies, without conscious effort to control it, judge it or force change upon it.Mindfulness recognizes that we will feel sad or fearful at times because this is human, but it helps us avoid feeling sad about being sad, or fearful about feeling fearful.
Mindfulness exercises are very easy to use and can yield quite extraordinary results, particularly for depression, anxiety and anger.