Considering the Density of Time and Experience

For a moment, consider how often our minds are tricked into neglecting memories come and gone. Healthy mindfulness encourages us to focus our intention on the present. This is a tried and true way to curtail anxiety; I have no criticisms there.

But sometimes it's easy to forget how much life we have all lived. Think about how much you've seen in your ____ years of life! You maybe only 10 years old and have already witnessed so much beauty hidden within the world. Sweet utterances from a friend that flash by your eyes like a soft breeze - gone with the wind as quick as it passed you. Or a lovely interaction with a kind stranger. Even a tragedy contains so much to learn and grow from. Sadly, the eloquence of the most special details within fading memories are even harder to picture. Wasted metaphors.. a graveyard of sonnets that flew by without the acknowledgement they may have deserved. Songs, paintings, films, smells can trigger it - bringing forth a treasure trove of emotion forged through experience to the forefront of our mind. It's easy to avoid paying attention at any given moment. I know this firsthand as a filmmaker; MY JOB is to suspend your belief and hack your mind for a moment. At least currently in my country, it's arguably more convenient to suspend reality than it is to nourish yourself. We have millions of solutions to view media made by someone else, but fewer options to educate ourselves. Yet, seemingly most people WANT to check out and forget about their lives for a little bit. Plus, some people are just too busy for honest emotional reflection. Maybe we do this out of protection and self-preservation? I don't know the answer. But consider what would an authentic emotional response be without one's own cocktail of memories, experiences, wishes, desires, hopes, scars, wounds, horrors, dreams?

If you ask me, it seems as if the key to mindfulness is within a healthy balance of appreciating the past, cherishing where you are now, and honoring your intention towards tomorrow. But I'm no yoga teacher so you probably shouldn't take my advice.

JH