A Phrase to Change Your Day: Jon Kabat-Zinn

This one phrase will help you bring mindfulness into your everyday life, says Elisha Goldstein. 

A few years ago, I was at a conference introducing Jon Kabat-Zinn. The beginning of the talk focused on my experience when I read page 14 of Kabat-Zinn’s book,  Wherever You Go, There You Are. This was a particularly difficult time in my life when I was feeling uneasy, confused, and dissatisfied with things. Now, if you’ve read this book, you know he has all kinds of wonderful suggestions on how to sprinkle the philosophy and practice of mindfulness into everyday life. But when I came upon this one section it said to try reminding yourself from time to time that “This is it.” And I said, “Really, this is it?” This is all there is? Well, apparently it was…

Later on that day I stood looking at the Golden Gate Bridge in awe at the beauty of San Francisco and the headlands and the phrase naturally arose in my mind, “This is it.” What a wonderful moment.

That phrase has since traveled with me as a friend reminding me to accept the reality of each moment as it is. When I was sad, this is it! When I was joyful, this is it! When I was anxious, frustrated, or bored, this is it!

Learning how to accept the moment as it was opened my eyes to so much more.

Jack Kornfield’s teacher Ajahn Chah, says something similar, his phrase is “It’s like this.”

Some wise person a long time ago said, “It is what it is.”

There are so many ways to drop us into the present moment, into a state of accepting the reality of what is here and out of the state of avoidance.

Try bringing this simple phrase into your life and see what happens. Once in a while say to yourself, “This is it!”

The truth is, it’s never more or less than this.

Having an understanding of where we are in any particular moment is the basis for self-acceptance.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Give it a try!

Adapted from Mindfulness & Psychotherapy

[Photo: Alex (Eflon)/flickr.com]