I am terrible at mindfulness. That does not make me a bad therapist. Yes, I can tell my clients that there are benefits of mindfulness and that others have found this practice to be helpful. But I find it extremely difficult to practice what I preach. I can go on and on about the benefits of being present and taking a few moments to mentally check in and just focus on the here and now.
So I try to practice mindfulness. I really do, I promise that I have great intentions starting out. But keeping my mind focused is challenge number one. The rare times that I do actually find a quiet place to just be, where does my mind go? my oil needs changed, has so and so called me back, what am I going to make for dinner, how many clients are scheduled for tomorrow, did I pay that bill that was due last week, why are Fritos so delicious?
Let’s just be real and honest, I am my own worst critic. What kind of therapist can’t even do mindfulness? I cannot help when thoughts pop up. I can chose how much attention to give to these thoughts. Hard part: letting the judgments go. Don’t focus on the negative thoughts and be overly critical. Acknowledge and move on!
My days are extremely busy. Seriously, who has the time to go all the way out to the lake just to sit and think??!! Old thinking would make the excuse that I don’t have the time to practice mindfulness. Reframe this excuse to: I did not make mindfulness a priority. I can start with taking 5-10 minutes that I normally would spend on social media to put the phone down and practice breathing and focusing on the here and now.