Mindfulness in the in vogue way to learn to love you life at the moment. And I’ve been pretty scornful about it for some time now.
The idea idea is to focus on the present moment and what emotions, sensations, sights, sounds, tastes etc. you are experiencing then and there. Unfortunately for me it was intrinsically linked to my time in hospital with anorexia. We were always being told to be mindful about what we were eating and how that felt and it was the first time I’d heard of it (2011). At the time it felt scary, we were being forced, and the tastes were often not great (this was hospital food – I remember we had an infestation of bugs crawling out of our salads and it took a lot to convince staff that we didn’t want to eat it and not because we were avoiding trying to eat at all). Although I will always remember the crumbles there fondly. But it just felt the wrong time to be mindful – maybe when we were nearly recovered and starting to enjoy eating again but to then always focus on the fear and guilt at the beginning didn’t seem wise. I grew bored of the phrase and rather skeptical.
However, people won’t stop banging on about it, which has made me wonder if I’m wrong…or just not experienced it in the best way. So when this week my individual therapist bought me a beautiful adult colouring book, made with mindfulness in mind, I thought I’d give it a go. The idea is to take some time out to find something (other than reading, which I can get obsessive about) for myself. Something healthy and soothing, which isn’t trying to please other people but appeals to my ‘happy child’. So I had a go yesterday and it is massively soothing – easy to focus on and really quite beautiful. To focus on colours and creating but without having a self-imposed deadline was quite pleasing. OK, so the drawings are so intricate that I slightly went over the lines once and wanted to give up because it wasn’t perfect, but I guess that’s all part of it – to tackle my ‘demanding parent’ and to keep focused on the more positive aspects of just trying to appeal to myself and no one else.