- The high road, consisting of joy, bliss, love and living our deepest aspirations.
- The low road, consisting of becoming intimate with our shadows/struggles, and working through whatever is preventing us from living on the high road.
- The middle road, consisting of our everyday life, a place where we come down to earth, find our sense of humor and embrace what is.
Today, we’ll talk about the role that mindfulness plays in walking these three roads.
The High Road
In a very real way, a moment of mindfulness is a moment of total engagement and intimacy with life. It’s a moment where our entire reality is vivid and lucid—colors are sharper, sounds are fuller, body sensations are more textured, our emotions are juicier and our love is more fluid.
A moment of mindfulness is also the ultimate “open state.” We’re not stuck on any particular thought, emotion or experience. This means it’s incredibly easier to give our full attention to another person, to a task or to truly living our deepest aspiration.
The key here is not being stuck—strong thoughts, emotions and experiences can still happen when we’re fully present, but instead of getting sucked into their vortex, we stay solidly in our deeper intentions.
More simply, to be mindful is to be on the high road!
The Low Road
When we’re stuck on some shadow/struggle, the first step to breaking free is always just to see it more clearly. Mindfulness is like a consciousness flashlight, offering us that clear seeing.
It helps us very vividly and precisely see our thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations, values, reactions, and how they’re all connected. And, when we have that degree of inner awareness, then it’s a lot easier to see where we’re stuck and to have the wherewithal to unstick ourselves.
Even further, mindfulness helps us become genuinely at peace with the entire range of our experience. Usually, when we experience pain or discomfort, we endlessly think about it, project it onto others, try to overpower it with a pleasurable experience, or find some other way of distracting ourselves.
Mindfulness accomplishes total peace by co-opting discomfort. Instead of trying to get rid of what we don’t like, mindfulness accepts and invites in everything. It teaches us to very deeply swap resistance for allowing.
Bring these two points together, the place that we’re stuck is usually somewhere we’re not fully allowing. After we see it clearly, we have a deep opportunity to choose allowing. If we go against the grain and make that choice, then we suddenly find ourselves thrust back onto the high road!
The Middle Road
When I teach meditation, the first instruction I give is always to relax. This is because being mindful doesn’t actually take any effort. It’s not so much something we achieve or attain as it is something we relax into.
In other words, mindfulness is an unending invitation to relax into the moment, into ourselves and into whatever is real for us.
There’s a reason I entitle this blog “The Path of Sincerity.” When we relax into ourselves, we feel total permission to be weird, quirky, neurotic and however we are on any given day. We feel freer to make jokes, to give smiles, to appreciate simple things, and to be just as we are.
Another way to put it is that mindfulness is a relaxation into sincerity.
The foundation of my own journey has been mindfulness practice. In turn, the mission of my work is to help others uncover just how deep and profound it can be for transforming their lives.
Of course, there are other ways to walk the three roads, but I can say that mindfulness is a really, really good one.
I hope you’ll join me on the path!