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Melli O'Brien



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Mind Traps: How to Stop Living in Limbo

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, I'm going to talk about the

waiting mind and why it's often the

invisible thief of your happiness.

So we human beings, we have this

habit of living for tomorrow.

So the thinking tends to have this

basic story a lot of the time,

I'll be happy one day, when...

We believe that if we can just reach

this goal, get this one thing, find

this right person, get this problem

solved, then we can be happy.

So it's a mindset of constantly

waiting for fulfillment in the

future and outside of ourselves.

So there's what you might call

large-scale waiting stories.

We believe we'll be happy once the

house is paid off, when we achieve a

big goal at launching a business, when

we finally get married or have kids.

And you know, you've probably experienced

this kind of thinking in your own

life, if you have a normal human mind,

So there's large scale waiting, and

then there's small scale waiting.

This is the mindset of thinking you'll

be happy, you know, when the work

day's over, when the kids go to bed,

when the traffic will finally move

so you can get where you're going.

Just waiting for the next thing, your

lunch break, or a person to arrive.

And in those moments, there's a basic

feeling of dissatisfaction with the

present moment and looking for fulfillment

again in the future, not in the now.

But whether it's large scale

or small scale waiting, the

basic mindset is the same.

We're putting off being fully

present in the now because

we're waiting to get there.

It's a kind of limbo state because

we inhabit this strange space between

this moment and a moment that doesn't

actually exist except in our imagination.

And we're thinking that if we can

just get to this imagined, you know,

image of the, or story of the future.

Then at that point,

everything will be great.

So in this limbo state of waiting,

we're basically putting off living.

We're not fully present in this moment.

But the moment we step out of the story,

the moment we let go of thinking that

the imagined future's going to fulfill

us, it's a bit like breaking a hypnosis.

And we finally inhabit ourselves

and our lives more fully.

Suddenly we experienced the fullness,

the vibrancy and the richness that's

been here waiting for us all along.

So the invitation for practice today

is to see if you can let go of the

waiting mind as much as possible.

Make your focus seeing the fullness

and aliveness all around you.

In this way, you grow fulfillment

within, instead of chasing it without.

And as James Oppenheimer once

said, "The foolish man seeks

happiness in the distance, the

wise man grows it under his feet."

So this is the practice.

And as always, thank you for doing this

work within yourself and in the world.

And now let's settle in

for today's meditation.

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