Thursday, April 15, 2021

M - Mind Full to Mindful - A Meaningful Journey


Mindfulness - sounds pretty simple, right? But since our mind is always full, it is not easy to be mindful which is allowing our mind to fully attend to what’s happening, what we are doing and the space we are moving through ‘NOW’. Not in the past, not in the future.Sounds quite easy and it would have been if not for the fact that our mind loves to wander which makes us lose touch with reality. We become obsessed with what has happened, what may happen, rather than concentrating on what is happening. Soon we are full of either fear, anger, anxiety or sadness.

The monkey chattering of our minds is not easy to silence, neither are the negative thoughts which cloud our vision. When faced with something life threatening like cancer, they become more active and louder, which can lead to confusion and chaos. The results will be seen in our behavior and responses to situations which may not be the best of choices we could have made. 

Though the term mindfulness was coined in the early 20th century, I got to know about it just before my diagnosis. I started working on it much later, after my surgery and initial doses of chemotherapy. Though I don’t believe in religion or miracles much, the outcome of mindfulness was miraculous for me. It was as though my mind underwent a cataract surgery. I was always a rational person who rationally evaluated things rather than falling emotional suggestions. Here I was just putting in effort to be aware of it more clearly, so being mindful came easily to me. 

As I was going through my chemotherapy, days started becoming more and more hectic. My sister succumbed to breast cancer when I was on my first cycle of chemotherapy and thereafter everything was just pure chaos. My family was devastated. I went through guilt and remorse for not being able to do anything much to save her life. 

My mind soon became the devil’s workshop, chattering constantly, churning out negative thoughts one after another so much that I couldn’t sleep. I started running through my days without being aware of what was happening around me. There were demands, suggestions, incomplete tasks and emotions attacking me randomly from everywhere. The biggest problem on hand being my worry of leaving behind my children in case cancer won the battle. The fear of not being there for them was not allowing me to be with them even when we were present in the same room. 

Fortunately one fine day I decided to tackle this issue. With help from my doctor, who also acted as my counselor, I decided to concentrate on now and what I can do to make life better for my children when I am there with them. That was the beginning of the journey of walking down the path of being mindful. Life became so much calm, peaceful and better after that I was quite surprised how much this little change would have such a huge impact. Later on other issues were handled in similar ways, and soon life was not so bad anymore. The pain of losing a loved one doesn’t go away, but I learned to deal with it rather than denying it. 

I used to avoid questions, feelings and emotions earlier, but I started looking up them in the eye now. I stopped forcing happiness into my thoughts, but allowed them to wander before bringing them back on the right track by logical explanations or surrendering the unknown to happen when it has to happen. I did not reject disappointment, sadness, anger, jealousy,  insecurity or fear but accepted them as what they are and allowed myself to feel them. I was only mindful of my reactions to those feelings and course of action to be taken to tackle them and not stopping them or denying them.

I stopped rushing through things I did everyday. I started talking calmly to my children as well, and believe me the effect it has on them is unbelievable even after 25 years. I will not claim that I understand being mindful like an expert, but I have practiced being in the moment and living in the now in the past 25 years. I do not take problems in loads, but sort them out one  by one. At times I fall into the old pattern of responses and react to situations in a bad way, but fortunately I am aware that I am giving into anger, fear, or insecurities when that happens which helps me to recover in a given time. I don’t attack myself mercilessly when it happens because after all I am a human being with some shortcomings. I accept my faults.  

Mindfulness is something you need not buy or get from someone paying them high fees. All humans are born with it. Being mindful is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Our ancestors must have possessed this to survive in the wild, but we lost this ability with the speed that overtook our lives. Let us go back to being calm, peaceful and show the wisdom in dealing with our lives of which we are capable of. Let us experience the miracle of being Mindful- NOW.


  1. “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain.”

    Your journey must have been incredibly hard, not only battling cancer yourself but losing your sister and mother to it. Not to leave my kid(s) behind would definitely be my greatest motivation to do anything to push through. Since nobody knows how much time we all have left, I try to make positive memories and instill my values often.

    PS: if you go to your BLOGGER settings and scroll all the way down, click on "profile" and check "share my profile" --> that way people can actually visit you back after you left a comment. I only found you by coincidence when you posted in the Facebook group.

    1. Thank you for your concern and guidance Tamara. I did as you guided and I see my profile with my blog is visible now. I know the journey has been hard but it only made me tougher person I am today.

  2. your journey to mindfulness is incredible. Thank you for sharing your story. It is beautiful and very well written. I hope that you are well and happy.

  3. Wonderful post. I have been working on a meditation / mindfulness practice for the last year. I have a long way to go but I do feel learning to be present and stay in the moment is critical in life. I am so sorry about your sister. That must have been devastating to deal with especially as you were beginning your own cancer treatments. I am glad you founds some solace in your mindfulness practice. Weekends In Maine

  4. Beautiful mindful post. Thank you.


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