Practices of Reflective Intelligence
Mishaps are like knives, that cut us or serve us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.
– James Russell Lowell
May I meet this moment fully; may I meet it as a friend.
– Sylvia Boorstein
Many people think of mindfulness as a kind of thinking or cognition. That’s not exactly it. Mindful awareness is about being with rather than thinking about: it entails knowing what you are experiencing while you are experiencing it. This awareness and reflection about experience (and your reactions to your experience) creates choice points in your brain. When you are aware of your choices, you can respond flexibly to whatever is happening, moment by moment.
Accepting the reality that underlies all reality — that everything changes, nothing is fixed or permanent — helps you let go of how things have been or need to be. You can tolerate how things are and trust your capacities of response flexibility to change them if need be. That neuroception of safety primes the neuroplasticity of the brain to discern new choices and find the courage to choose among them.
- See also Introduction to Mindfulness
- See also Mindfulness of Breathing
- See also How Mindfulness Steadies Awareness
- Steadying Awareness
- Noticing Going In and Out of Awareness
- See also Steadying Awareness as What You Observe Becomes More Complex
- Tracking Shifts in Experience
- See also Notice and Naming to Create Options
- See also Deepening Our Skills in Reflection
- See also Naming Patterns as Patterns
- Identifying Thought Processes that Derail Resilience
- Climate Change
- Checking in
- What Story Am I Believing Now?
- Creating Shifts
- Recognizing Past Shifts
- Change Every Should to a Could
- Changing a Negative Thought Pattern to a Postive Thought Pattern
- Shifting Mindsets
- Finding the Gift in the Mistake
- Coherent Narrative
- Letting Go of Thought Patterns
- Letting Go of the Self – Breathing into Infinity
- Letting Go of Control
Additional exercises are available in Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster.