How Mindfulness Moves Us

When hard things happen and we’re left with all our messy emotions, our mindfulness practice can help us shift and welcome joy.

Adobe Stock/Евгений Шемякин

This is the fourteenth time I’ve had the pleasure of writing a letter to you all. The very first time was for the Winter 2020 issue of Mindful, during the height of the pandemic when we weren’t sure what the future might hold. I remember writing these words: “There is always compassionate space available to you, in every moment. Space to pause. Space to breathe. Space to reclaim your attention. To communicate with wisdom and skill. To forgive yourself and others. And to remember that joy is your birthright.”

Joy is your birthright! Yes! And…sometimes, especially when the world seems unfair or downright painful, the fact that joy is always an option makes me quite angry. What right does joy have to show up now?, my grumpiest self mutters.

If I’m paying attention at all, this is exactly when I remember that I’m more than just my pain, my grief, and my thoughts. I breathe and invite my discomfort in a little closer—make sure it doesn’t lash out at others. I give it some care. Some love. Some time.

We’re celebrating how our practice moves with us throughout our lives, through pain and difficulty, through…