Topic 4: Awareness gives genuine choice

Exploring experience

In this part of the course we will explore how your practice of mindfulness gives you the sensitivity to notice when the first signs of how worry and anxiety arise and how to create the space to have a genuine choice in how to deal with it.

Old patterns of worry and anxiety can arise and spread without you even noticing. This can feel like a back-seat driver has taken over the controls so you have no say in your state of mind. Mindfulness can be a process of taking back the controls and being in the driving seat. You can start the process by noticing the first signs that the back-seat driver is starting to wrest the controls off you and introduce the element of conscious choice.

To continue the metaphor of driving you can choose the direction you are going in rather than being steered into a ditch by the back-seat driver. You can choose to hold back or move forward rather than it being determined by an unconscious tendency.

Reading the signs of what is happening

Dealing with the internal back seat drivers which have the ability to steer us off course and put the brakes on what we are doing.