I’ve just started a mindfulness course. For those who’ve been on Mars with Matt Damon, mindfulness is the new cure-all which is supposed to be more effective than anti-depressants, psychiatry and psychotherapy in controlling anxiety, depression and all that stuff. It’s apparently great for people with cancer, and people getting used to believing that they might be without cancer. It’s also supposed to make people into all-round high achievers – that’s why it’s being used in schools and businesses too.
I’ve no idea whether it works or not. After one session, I’m keeping an open, ha ha, mind. All I do know is that I now have 45 minutes of mindfulness homework to do EVERY DAY.
And I now have, in the house with me, two men fitting carpets, one of whom is the worst singer I have ever heard, my cleaner, whom I acquired after the operation and whom I haven’t quite de-acquired, a moody child whose sighs of angst are so gusty they are ruffling the cats’ fur, and a husband who is wondering loudly who the hell all these people are and what they are doing in our house.
It is not the moment to find a clear stretch of carpet, lie down, and start breathing into my toes (yes, into my toes). Luckily, I’ve done just enough mindfulness to know that open acceptance is all. I hear the combination of mangled reggae, gale force sighs, hammering and tutting, and I welcome it. I allow it to be what it is.
And I abandon my mindfulness practice, and watch Parks and Recreation instead. Don’t tell.