(Photos from an epic run in Grindelwald, Switzerland)
I meditate every day. I do this because it is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness means to be present, aware of what you’re doing and where you are.
Looking at porn/masturbating is a way we escape the present moment (escapism).
So it would stand to reason that a skill to help stop escaping would be one that has to do with being actively engaged IN the present moment. In other words:
mindfulness = anti-escapism
Have you ever been at work and all you can think about is that show (or other activity) you’re going to watch later? Then during the show that night you find yourself thinking about all the work you need to do?
Experiencing something like this isn’t good or bad. It’s just something to notice. And, perhaps, it’s a sign that you could use some mindfulness reps in your life.
Something I realized even further this week is that self judgment is anti-mindfulness.
From my self-coaching journal this week:
“Judging myself may be the most regular/frequent/habitual anti-mindfulness thing that I do. If I want to be in the moment more, more mindful, more engaged, judging myself is getting in the way, perhaps more than anything else.”
The reason why judging myself is an anti-mindful activity is because I am resisting who I am in the current moment. I am looking for reasons to reject me in the “right now.” This is not what I would call being present.
On the flip side, practicing mindfulness will help me stop judging myself.
What is your regular anti-mindfulness activity?
Is it that I need to stop judging myself to be more mindful? Or do I need to be more mindful to stop judging myself?
If I tell myself to stop judging myself it might be kind of like telling myself to not think of a giant purple elephant. I can’t help but think of a giant purple elephant.
I need to replace self-judgment with curiosity, observation, and a willingness to be in the present moment.
This means I am willing to be me, right now, as I am.
This means I gently focus on what is there for me in the moment and I practice accepting it. If I get distracted, that’s okay. Just gently bring the attention back.
Don’t worry, just because you accept it doesn’t mean that you are surrendering forever and that you can’t change.
On the contrary, in order TO change you NEED to accept what is there and what has been.
But you don’t have to continue YOUR STORY about what is there and what has been.
Separate out the facts from your story, then accept both for what they are and what they have been.
Know that you can change the story. You can’t change how you have told it in the past but you can change how you tell it right now.
You cannot change the facts, or the circumstances. The only way these can hurt or help you is by the optional story you tell about them.
Know that some “facts” that you see as a circumstance are actually part of your story (thoughts), and you just don’t realize it yet.
Mindfulness will help you become aware of these things.
I love to mindfully write for this kind of practice.
Like a Still Pond
What you’ll realize, as you find more mindful moments, is that the nature of the mind is to return to stillness.
You may not believe me right now.
As you begin, your mind may appear very loud and crazy.
But if you stick with it and practice, you’ll see that the mind returns to stillness just like a pond of water.
Thoughts and feelings cause ripples and waves. But if you are mindful long enough, the waves subside. The ripples dissipate.
I would get scared that without porn, my mind would become out of control and then What would I do?
If the nature of the mind is that of a pond then what are we so worried about?
Without this skill, you can see how one would worry.
Imagine the Benefits
Imagine the peace and calm that would come from the skill of being more present in the moment.
Imagine the improved focus you would have on important tasks.
Imagine the greater satisfaction you would get in your pleasurable activities.
Imagine the power to change you would gain if you had the clarity to see what is currently there.
Imagine the confidence that you can sit with any unpleasant feeling and watch your mind return to stillness, however long that takes.
After all, our greatest fears aren’t specific situations as much as they are how we will feel in those situations.
If we don’t fear our feelings, then we will fear nothing.
Need a framework to practice mindfulness and implement desired change? Check out my How to Stop Looking at Porn Program by scheduling a free mini-session with me. What are you waiting for? Click here.
For a free jumpstart on learning the skill of not looking at porn check out my guide: “How to Stop Looking at Porn.”