Mindfulness… today quite a fashionable concept. But what does it actually mean?
For me mindfulness is about being fully present. Here and now. About hearing, seeing, experiencing the world as it is. About being in a flow, when nothing else beside this very moment actually matters. Mindfulness means for me to be aware, on a very deep level. Aware of myself, of people around, of nature, of the world and of life itself.
I’ve learned mindfulness with small steps taken mostly during our travel around the world. Leaving Europe almost 4 years ago I knew already that there is something more than rationality to understand life with, I had my first very strong experience of being here and now (which had happened few months before during an Interpersonal Training), I was conscious that if I wanted to go deeper in understanding, I needed something more than what I’d tried before. And I’d already tried quite a lot, I went through few coaching processes, I participated in different important and developing courses, training and events, I did few times Camino de Santiago, etc.
We started our travel in 2015 from South-East Asia, hoping to discover the world from a different perspective. And we were not disappointed. We learned a lot about Buddhism, we visited several meditation centres, we did Vipassana – 10 days meditation course (about which we wrote this post). We started to understand what mindfulness could be, realizing the power of emotions, being present, connection with people and nature.
But for me personally the biggest change came in South America. That’s where, in the middle of Patagonian steppe, Bolivian mountains, Atacama desert, I felt an unbreakable, really strong connection with the world and nature. I started to understand what it means that we are all one. My voice is still shaking when I tell people about the ceremony of the Aymara new year in Tiwanaku, absorbing the energy of the rising sun, or the unbelievable connection I feel with the Sacred Valley in Peru, the only place I could imagine myself to settle down. During the year we spent in South America we visited quite a few spiritual centres, we tried some ceremonies, we discussed with different shamans trying to figure out our own believes.
That’s how I’ve learned what mindfulness is. What oneness means. How everything is connected.
I came back to Europe with a strong desire to share. And absolutely no idea how to do it. How to translate all those experiences into language, into workshops, presentations, training courses? I’ve even tried, but for different reasons it didn’t really work out. I understood I need more confidence, I need to see other trainers teaching mindfulness to find my own way. That’s why I applied for MoMint – a training course about mindfulness organized within the Erasmus+. I was a bit disappointed getting to know I wasn’t accepted, although offered a position in the waiting list. But I didn’t lose hope. I knew that if I was meant to go there, I would. Two days later I got the email – you are lucky, somebody resigned and you can take over her place.
I came back to Poland 36h before departing for MoMint. Enough time to wash clothes, repack, get ready and... I arrived in the middle of the night to the flat, nobody was supposed to be home. But the door was open.
I feel my body reacting as I’m writing these words. It’s amazing how much the body remembers. My muscles are stiff again, my breath is short, hands start to shake. Although it’s already more than 3 weeks after.
There was a burglary. All house was completely upside down. Somebody entered the flat and opened every single shelf, wardrobe, every single box. Our all belonging were lying down in the middle, in complete mess.
I had no idea what to do. For a moment everything stopped. It’s my Mother's house and a burglary was something she was scared about from very long time.
I called her.
Then I called the police. They arrived 30 minutes later, messing up even more with the powder for footprints and telling me a lot of things I had no idea about.
There is no common lock which cannot be opened within 10 minutes.
They usually take only money and jewellery, things that can fit in the pocket (our thieves had to be desperate, they also took a few pieces of equipment and 3 bottles of vodka).
Actually they didn’t even steal much, because there was not much to steal. Not many things with economical value, at least. Although quite a few with emotional one.
I guess the worse is the mess. And a sense of safety completely shattered. This feeling that anybody can enter your house, take your belongings, open all your bags and wardrobes… it’s not an easy one.
I had 36h to the bus for the training and no idea if I would be able to take it. I had to deal with the police and wait for my mother, who came 18h later.
Finally I decided to go, not sure if it would prove the best choice.
I’ve met amazing trainers, who taught me more about mindfulness by the way they are than I could learn from any exercise. I gained insights and confidence which help me to include mindfulness in my own work as trainer. I had moments of flow with the group and with myself in which nothing beside the present moment mattered. I’ve gone much beyond my personal limits especially within the area of physical contact, which since many years has been always quite a challenge for me. I’ve understood how important touch can be, I experienced touch without sexual context, which builds very strong relations with other people in so much a faster and deeper way. I opened myself for new experiences and let things go.
There is no word to express my gratitude to the trainers, but also to every single participant: each of you taught me so much about mindfulness and life itself.
Thank you and I hope to meet you again, somewhere in the world.