Effective use of Mindfulness strategies increases our awareness of our internal and external environments. One goal many of us have in using non-judgmental attention is to achieve a sense of acceptance with reality as it is. In doing so, we have less suffering and more psychological flexibility. When we are in sync with reality, we are moving with the flow of life and not against it.
Borrowing from one of DBTs skills training assumptions, we’d like to be thoughtful that all behaviors have causality. In thinking about what happens just before flow, or what might cause it, patterns of holding come to mind: before a muscle relaxes, it holds tension. Before someone tells a story, they hold information. Before it rains, the sky holds moisture.
We tend to judge patterns of holding as being bad. Holding our breath, holding secrets, and holding tension carry negative connotations. What if we reframed this judgment and took the perspective that holding is a natural phenomenon that must occur before movement, speed, and flow. This is not to say that patterns of holding on can’t be destructive and painful – of course they can be! We wonder if perhaps that suffering is due to a deficit in Acceptance that when we notice holding, it’s a cue to release.
This week please turn your attention to what you hold on to. Do you keep important details about yourself to yourself? Are you holding tension in your body? What is feeling heavy? Has it occurred to you to let it go, or share the weight?
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