Have you ever gotten up in the morning, and immediately stubbed your toe, stepped on your cat, or walked into something? Then you burned your tongue on your coffee, hit absolutely surreal traffic en route to work? Once you got to work have you had nothing but fires to put out and assholes to deal with all day?
During the course of that same day, have you been constantly criticized, berated, and just generally made to feel as if you do everything wrong and piss everyone off?
After a truly horrific day, especially one like what I am describing here, it’s very easy the next day to expect the same thing. You open your eyes in the morning thinking, “What will I fuck up today?”
When you find yourself asking this question or any similar questions, it is time to employ mindfulness.
Attitude and mindfulness
It’s entirely possible that your reaction to “employ mindfulness” is “fuck you, what do you know?” or “that bullshit doesn’t do a thing in this situation” or some other derisive thought. When you are already feeling lousy that’s a totally normal and expected response, really.
However, that doesn’t lessen the necessity of applying mindfulness to this.
But let me be completely clear — this will not instantly fix this. Nothing will.
When you are angry, self-deprecating, and feeling worthless there are ZERO quick fixed. Alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, and sex don’t fix this, but they can make excellent distractions. Adjusting your attitude is a matter of effort on your part.
That’s what I mean by employing mindfulness. Odds are, you have reached that place of “what will I fuck up today?” by a circuitous route of twists, turns, and lots of bad moments that burrowed into your subconscious like a groundhog evading its shadow. All that negativity that has wormed its way into your subconscious has created that thought and the associated feeling.
When you work to be mindful, you are taking conscious stock of your thoughts and feelings. This is in opposition to allowing all that built-up negativity in your subconscious dictate your mindset you are taking back control of.
When you have a “what will I fuck up today?” attitude it is invariably not a mindful attitude. So that is why employing mindfulness is a good idea.
Become aware of reality
Practicing mindfulness often gets tossed about as being this amazing, incredible life-changing practice.
To be fair, it can be life-changing. But this is not going to be quick, nor employ instant-gratification. It is also, at least in the beginning, particularly challenging to work with all the time. Even then, it will need to be actively employed because it is not a passive action.
The practice of mindfulness is super-simple. You just have to become aware of your thoughts and feelings. That also makes you aware of your actions and any intent behind them.
It really is that simple. But at the same time, in a world of information overload, messages of lack and scarcity, and distractions galore it requires actions and effort.
The easiest way to become mindful, and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions is to ask questions like these:
· What am I thinking?
· How am I feeling?
· What am I feeling?
· What am I doing?
· Do I really believe I am going to fuck things up today?
The awareness that mindfulness is meant to bring to the forefront is your consciousness. Pulling you into the here-and-now, the present moment, where you can have utter clarity.
This moment in time, right now, is the most real reality in which you live. Why? Because reality is wholly based upon your perception of it, which comes from your mindset. Consciousness.
Hence why practicing mindfulness can be so powerful.
Expectation is seldom based in reality
The question of “what will I fuck up today?” is one of expectation. You expect that today is going to probably suck AND that you will be responsible for it sucking. Asking how you can fuck things up is a total expectation that you will do poorly, cause upset, and otherwise ruin your own day.
This is why employing mindfulness can be so powerful. Expectation of this sort tends to be built on depression and/or anxiety. That’s usually extracted from subconscious thoughts and feelings. Subconscious thoughts and feelings tend to dwell on the past and fret about the future.
To quote Lao Tzu,
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
This is why when you have a lousy day like the one I described at the beginning of this article, it becomes easy to believe your next day will also suck. You probably have looked backward and gotten depressed about similar lousy days of the past. That created a false expectation of more lousy and awful days going forward.
This is why the question “what will I fuck up today” is indicative of not being mindful.
In general, in the present moment, here and now, you are ok. Right this second as you are reading this, for example, I would hazard a guess that you are not in peril, nor otherwise in a bad place, even if your thoughts have been about questioning potential fuck-ups today.
Employing mindfulness is about becoming conscious of this moment, right now. Reality as it really is. In the present, at this moment, I’m guessing you’re not fucking up a thing.
So is it worth it to expect the worst today?
Being calm and rational can be infuriating
This whole idea of using mindfulness to counter expectation tends to irk people. It’s annoying, it can look and feel obnoxious, and it might irritate you with an impression of superiority in the abuse of the idea of mindfulness.
If you’re already perturbed, or otherwise feeling angry and negative, me telling you to calm down and ask rational questions to bring yourself into the moment is exasperating. I have not had your experiences or been through what you’ve been through, so how can I offer you anything of value?
Truth be told, I can’t. All I can do is show you a door that you can choose to make use of or not. This is the door of mindfulness. No, it doesn’t lead to Shangri-La or some other paradise. In fact, it’s just a door and a frame in the middle of nowhere that doesn’t take you anywhere new by stepping through it.
However, when you open a door that is unfamiliar, the first thing you do is look through it. That brings you into the here-and-now. It places your mindset into the present as you look at what’s on the other side.
Congratulations, you have just stepped into mindfulness.
The new question is, will you only be aware of your surroundings and mindset for an instant, a moment, or long enough to ask questions to potentially change it?
Expecting things to go poorly tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Employing mindfulness can remove you from the expectation of fucking things up and open you to being present and aware and improving where you are and where you are going to.
Will you walk through that door I am showing you, pause on the threshold and look through, or totally ignore it?
The choice, of course, is yours.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter.