I learnt a new term recently, mindfulness. I had heard the word before and thought that it was one of 'those' words used by psychologists when they talked about what they do in their job. And it is but not the way that I thought.
I was always someone who had no empathy towards those who needed a psychologist. Harden up, get on with it, you don't need it. Only weak people need psychologists, or those who have a mental disease.
Of course those who have heard my story know that I fell over, I had a brain sickness. I was told at the time to recount past, to acknowledge it, and to move on with my life. And I did. But what I missed out on was being in the present while I moved forward.
As I now learned, mindfulness is about being in the present. Psychology Today describes mindfulness as "Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experiences".
I wish I had done this when I was unwell. In my rush to get better, I missed the experience of getting well. I was either thinking about how I could get better or dwelling on the past filled with regret. If I had thought more about the 'now' I would not have thought so much about the 'then'.
We do need to remember where we have come from so that 1) we know what happened so that we can avoid it again and 2) we know how far we have come and reflect on our advances. But we should not keep going back to the place where we once languished.
For me, mindfulness is about enjoying the present while looking forward to the future.