Resolving Internal Conflicts with Mindfulness
By Wendy Quan
Mindfulness is offered as a way to ‘be present and non-judgmental’. Mindfulness is pretty much a household term these days. It can help us improve our mental well-being. In this article, I would like to go beyond the typical explanation of how mindfulness can become part of your daily life.
We all have our internal struggles, and sometimes these conflicts feel like a dark cloud that follows us around.
Allow me to share with you a very specific example that may help you as you relate it your own personal struggles.
My colleague, whom I will call ‘Joe’, is a very successful consultant who travels over 50% of the time. The travel is far from ideal as he is a single dad of two teenage children, although he has an excellent caregiving arrangement for his children when he’s away that the children are fine with. Joe loves his work, which is to help corporate senior leaders develop conscious awareness as they run their organizations. He says he cannot say ‘no’ to his work as he is making a positive difference in the world.
His struggle is clear: How does he resolve the disparity of purposeful, fulfilling work with being away from his family so much? He tried to come up with various solutions, but nothing was viable. If he quit his job, he would feel he was turning his back on his life’s purpose, but if he stayed in his job, the guilt of not being with his family was painful.
Joe is a meditator, and decided to apply the principles of mindfulness in his meditation, which are:
- Being completely present.
- Observing his emotions, physical sensations, thoughts and whatever ‘comes up’.
- Being non-judgmental of whatever arises.
As he sat in mindfulness meditation, he had a revelation. The revelation was this: that he can see the conflict and will let it just ‘be’. In other words, he decided that he did not have to resolve the conflict. He decided he didn’t have to fix anything. Yes, the conflict is still there, but letting a situation ‘just be’ is an option. And how liberating that realization has been for him!
This ‘letting it be’ is the practice of observing it, knowing it is there and not judging that it is there. Sometimes the option of just letting it be can be entirely OK. Now that he has made the decision to let it be, it has provided him with mental freedom.
This is a laser-focused example of mindfulness in action. If this idea intrigues you, see if it can work for you for some of your inner conflict. A more peaceful mind may be within reach.
Wendy Quan provides mindfulness meditation facilitator training and certification online courses which are available to CPHR BC & Yukon members at a preferred rate. Find out more. Also, CPHR BC & Yukon members can access her on-demand sessions Mindfulness for Busy HR Professionals and How to Bring Mindfulness into Your Workplace with No Ongoing Operating Costs free!
Wendy Quan, founder of The Calm Monkey, is an industry leader, helping organizations implement mindfulness meditation programs and combining change management techniques to create personal and organizational change resiliency. She trains meditators to become workplace facilitators.