This. Between: Mindfulness in Recovery.

Mindfulness is all about being in touch with ourselves, with others and our surroundings in the present moment. Exploring This. Between.

This. Between: Mindfulness in Recovery.

Introducing ‘This Between’.

This life, this stage, this moment, this between. Often we are existing between two ‘experiences’. Between turning up at one place from another, one celebration and to another, one drink to the next and the big one : one’s  birth to one’ s death. We focus on the edges, the bookends the ‘events’ and almost ignore this between (the bit in the middle): Life, the moment, NOW!

Why we struggle?

Hurting ourselves emotionally, physically, spiritually. We drown in sorrow, grief, trauma.  We forget that we are all imperfect, struggling human beings together on this planet for a short time.  
We search for comfort, escape, self-therapy. We think we should have all the answers and live a ‘perfect’ life. We compare, self-doubt, sabotage our wellbeing for the sake of a temporary ‘fix’. It is the way we are wired.

Even with the awareness we carry on using ways to deny ourselves true wellbeing for fear of meeting the pain. The messy break-up with our addictive behaviours is something to avoid.  
Committing to a new way of being in this world with all  of the thoughts and life-style changes that are needed may seem overwhelming and too much to cope with when we are already feeling compromised and vulnerable. Speaking our truth is difficult and fraught with dangers of being exposed, humiliated, rejected.

The natural stress response is to fall back to what is easy and quick to action. We run, hide, flee and freeze. We are programmed to avoid danger. Talk about the stress response.

What can we do about it?

Starting the journey back to self is the most difficult. Admitting that we need help is tough. We can’t do it ourselves. Our pride and our ego get in the way of this and are such powerful forces which get in the way of change.  Talk about the 3 emotional regulation systems

Recovery involves the mind, the body and the spirit. It is a life-long commitment and exploration.

The more that we align our actions to our values and connect to our authentic self the less deficient and worthless we will feel. We will begin to let go of habits that are non-serving and create habits that do. And the less we will crave from escaping through a substance or a behaviour.  

Can we do this together?

I approach recovery from it not just being about addiction but from trauma, loss, anxiety, struggle, heartache, depression, anger, self-harm, lack of self-worth.

Although it is a personal journey we invite you to question, find awareness and trust yourself again. To wake-up to what the reality is and find another angle of perception. Another way into this between state and having a different relationship with our mind.

Recognising that an addiction is  a mental health issue involving the whole of us (mind, body, spirit, and the in-between bits).

So what has the Mind got to do with it?

We all have one. That is a fact. It is what enables us to be aware of the world and our experiences; to think, and to feel. The faculty of consciousness and thought.

One of those facts to ponder is that we are not our mind and we are not our thoughts. If we were, we not be able to witness our thoughts. We use our minds and thoughts to create our reality.

We can see how we easily get lost in thought. A preoccupation with our own issues, concerns, beliefs, opinions,   memories, visualisations, dreams.  Most of the time this happens and it this that controls how we react, behave and feel.

How can Mindfulness help?

Mindfulness helps us to relish the moments, so that we can choose to give our thoughts our full attention when they are helpful but when they’re not we can choose to not be so bothered by them. We gain a sense of relief and taking time out from the busy mind.  

Through mindfulness we learn to direct our attention to something neutral or positive in the present moment; something we can see, hear, smell, touch, taste which can prevent us from getting tangled up in mental loops leading to reactive behaviours.

We will feel a sense of coming back home to ourselves in a more meaningful way. We may find that we can get in touch with a sense of brightness, clarity of purpose, playfulness, creativity and inner peace.

It is said that mindfulness practitioners develop a more optimistic stance in their lives, and a courage which enables them to work with rather than avoid life’s challenges.

To help cope with Stress:

Thoughts can cause us agitation and trigger our stress responses. Once we realise they are just thoughts we give our whole system the chance to calm down and respond in a way which is helpful to our wellbeing.

To Accept things just as they are:

Mindfulness helps us to be OK with approaching what is happening here and now, so we are able to expend less effort and resources on trying to make this moment different from how it is.  We learn to accept the moments just as they are. Letting the moments unfold without trying to manage or control them.

Be More Compassionate:

A very important aspect of our mindfulness training is the development of compassion.

If we were to only develop more clarity of what is happening inside us, we might experience only more self-criticism and condemnatory thoughts.

In an image: if we are to switch on a lamp inside ourselves that is harsh and cold like a neon light, we might not enjoy what we see very much and prefer to go through life not being so aware of what is present in us. However, if we can access a warm coloured light, we might be encouraged to look and notice what is present. This does not mean glossing over what is present, rather looking at ourselves with warmth and acceptance, the way we would maybe look at our close friends.

What is Mindfulness

It’s a Life Skill...

Mindfulness is a life skill which can deepen our sense of well-being and fulfillment. It involves paying attention to what is occurring in our present moment experience, with an attitude of openness and non-judgmental acceptance. It engages all of our senses as we open to our entire experience, becoming aware of our body, emotions, thoughts and the external environment.

Coming back to our Senses/Awareness/Noticing:

It’s about being in touch with ourselves, with others and our surroundings in the present moment. It is a natural and an intuitive state of presence in which we can feel more connected, real and alive.
Perhaps we have felt this in more peaceful moments, when we have been present in places of natural beauty, and simply “breathing it in”, whether this was a beautiful sunset or standing next to the sea or a waterfall. Perhaps we have felt this in some heightened moments, such as being with a loved one, during the birth of a child, or even being present with someone who is dying.

These are the moments we may be more likely to remember and are less likely to be distracted by other more trivial concerns. Maybe we have felt qualities of such mindful presence when we have been fully engaged in an activity which we love, playing a musical instrument, dancing, riding a horse, or sitting on a sunny plaza on holiday, sipping a cappuccino.

It changes the relationship we have towards ourselves and others:

Certainly, mindfulness is not just about having more blissful moments, it is about being more fully present in our lives, remaining curious, embracing all of our experiences. Most  importantly, changing the relationship we have towards ourselves even when we are in pain, suffering, with sadness or fear.  

We learn to cultivate a kind and compassionate attitude.

Definitions of Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is knowing what is happening, when it is happening, without preference.  
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.
Mindfulness refers to keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality. It is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves.

David Henzell

David Henzell

Co-Founder and Coach

Sobrly allows me to bring to bear my lived and professional experience to help others. Like you! Sobrly is my way of supporting people to get back on track.