If our mindfulness doesn’t include the ability to challenge our own narrative, it will make us anxious.
Mindfulness is a deliberate act.
We can’t do mindfulness intuitively. Our narrative won’t let us. Since we know everything already, why would we examine what we don’t know?
That narrative, our automaticity, has been with us all of our life. It gets in the way of learning. It also allows us to acquire new learning, if we have an attitude of curiosity toward something new that affirms, “This is fun. This is something I don’t know – I’m going to try and know it”.
Most of us have anxiety about not knowing, though, and that is the problem with automaticity. When we withhold our curiosity, we don’t know that we don’t know, because we don’t easily move towards what we don’t know.
There is a paradoxical nature to challenging our narrative. If we are not curious and willing to listen to ideas that are not congruent with ours, how will new ideas come in?
To start, we need to have a fixed sense of self and a stable place to stand in order to provide comfort to ourselves. This enables us to move through our world and interact, perhaps drive a car, attend an event, or even engage in conversation about politics with someone.
And in order to explore the perspective of anyone else, we need to free up our own self.
At the very base, each of us makes that decision ourselves.