MENU

Mindfulness as An Ally for Impermanence

Apr 30, 2017

One spring afternoon in 1977 we were mind experimenting in the lush and aromatic garden of the Living Love Center in Berkeley. It was the last week of a 28 day retreat called “The Road to Happiness” led by Ken Keyes, Jr. author of Handbook to Higher Consciousness.

Ken had challenged us “to be in the present moment” while simultaneously running a story line of our past.

After much frustration, discussion, laughter and many false starts it was determined that being in the moment and running a past story line couldn’t be done.

Our mind experimenting, however, wasn’t for naught. As we studied the mind we experienced how impermanence is permanent. We grokked that change is continually afoot as Leonard Cohen wrote,

May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my Love
And, my Love, Goodbye.. 

How we live with this eternal impermanence is dependent on how we choose our allies to view our unfolding world. This choice of how we view our lives decides if we are on the Dissolving Path or the Evolving Path.

Swift Change and Slow-Moving Change
Just like the many different names for the textures of snow, I find there are different names for change. Lately I have been focusing on two. In both types of change we live in the unknown.

One is called Swift Change.
It happens without warning. Swift Change is a Beloved unexpectedly dying or being let go without warning from a job. We ride the moment with acceleration and alertness. Our body is up-regulated with adrenalin. We do what the next best thing is. Monkey Mind is asleep at the wheel and, therefore, cannot unleash the stories that create fear of the unknown. Why? Because there is no fear… because there is no unknown. We are living in “what is”.

The second I call Slow-Moving Change.
It is seen from a distance steadfastly moving in our direction. Slow-Moving Change is paved with distractions of what could be and, thus, magnetizes all that surrounds it with tension and fear. It is Monkey Minds favorite change. As we wait for “it” to happen, Monkey Mind up-regulates the body inviting Fixed Mindset to quickly create safety to the detriment of life.

What is the Antidotal Ally? Mindfulness!
How do we implement mindfulness? One way is to transform Monkey Mind into Beginner’s Mind.

How to witness your impermanent life through Beginner’s Mind?

With your eyes closed, settle your body and mind with deep inhales followed by deep exhales. After the settling, slowly open your eyes. With conscious wonder, surprise and anticipation view your life as first time new. What do you notice?

Beginner’s Mind is spacious. Curiosity arises. Imagination is activated. Beginner’s Mind witnesses and as a result our bodies, minds and hearts thrive. Trust expands. Our life embraces impermanence with the excitement of Beginner’s Mind!

Develop your mindfulness muscle. Practice this simple process. Practice, practice, practice… and keep us posted!

With a deep bow to every… single… thing…!

Ann-Marie McKelvey

1 Comment

More Posts

Testimonials

Skillful Means was a great course for learning the coaching skills for the first time or brushing up on the skills you’ve been using in your practice for a while. I enjoyed watching Ann-Marie demonstrate the coaching skills through practice sessions in class. Would definitely recommend to anyone no matter where they are in their coaching career.
Stephanie Lentini, ACCSouth Lake Tahoe, CA
The Mindfulness Coaching School has been an amazing resource for me on many levels. I took S-T-R-E-T-C-H! when Ann Marie suggested it would be a great addition to what we’d been working on in our coaching sessions. The class was so inspiring I decided to become a coach myself! I’ve taken 6 classes already and plan to take more. I love Ann Marie’s style of teaching; the academic aspect, the mindful/spiritual piece and the opportunity to work with other like-minded people during homework sessions. Ann Marie is a bottomless source of knowledge and inspiration and I am forever grateful!
Mimi PullenAcupuncturist, Herbalist & Wellness Coach
The Art of Engaged Mindfulness allowed me to become more flexible with my own established meditation practice. I really enjoyed the opportunity to dialogue with fellow coaches interested in deepening their own practice and sharing it with the world.
Melissa ParksPh.D.Burien, WA
I fell in love with somatic coaching. I never thought I could actually talk to my body. A completely new world opened up for me personally, as I am sure will be the case also for my clients. I now fully understand as I have experienced it that somatic coaching is the only really holistic way to get to core of the challenges and to the goals that are completely aligned with ourselves.
Silvija ZagarStudent CoachHunsdorf, Luxembourg
The S-T-R-E-T-C-H! course was an amazing experience and it allowed me to grow (and stretch) as a new coach!
Joy Patton, Ph.DMt. Juliet, Tennessee
This school has changed my life in a incredibly positive way. MCS speaks to my soul, and I am more present with my clients, my partner, my children and in my life because of what I’ve learned at MCS. I get so excited when the academic calendar is released, I feel so grateful for this school and I am so thankful that I have found this school.
Kate ToyeStudent CoachPrince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada
I quickly started looking forward to Tuesday evenings. I never knew what the take away (from class) would be, but came to recognize it would be rich and meaningful – whether it was from my own process or through witnessing the process and collaboration with my colleagues.  
Kristin E. ReinersLPCS, NCC, RPT
What a way to start my journey at MCS! This was my first class related to my Coaching endeavor. The STRETCH class is a marvelous macro-level course about what one can expect in the coaching field. The instructor fostered such a memorable and supportive space and I know I will nurture those friendships for years to come.
Sharon ScottStudent CoachCoronado, California
[In Writing, Creativity, and the Mindful Coach] I enjoyed learning about how to be an effective coach via the route of writing and mindfulness. This was a new experience for me and one I found to be very valuable. I have a new and great tool in my toolbox to better serve my coaching clients. Thank you for this course!
Phyllis Reid-JarvisPCCWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
This class [Business Alchemy] was so valuable to me as a novice coach looking to start my own practice. Jim Butcher pulls together all the moving parts and helped me clarify my personal vision and motivation.
Ilse ThompsonStudent CoachAuburn, ME