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What If to What Is

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

Hi, welcome to Day One of our seven day meditation challenge. My name is Cory Muscara. And to kick off this series, I'm going to share a simple mindfulness practice that you can utilize to step out of the chaos of your mind and reground yourself back into the present moment. I like to call this strategy 'shifting your what if to what is'. What if, to what is.

So what is the 'what if mind'? Well, we're all familiar with it, whether we realize it or not. The, what if mind is when we get caught up in thoughts about what could happen? What if that happens? What if this happens? What if this doesn't go well? What if they don't like me? What if I fail? What if, what if, what if. And of course we can all point to times where the what, if mind can be useful. It can help us prepare for something that can go wrong and take necessary action. But if you're also like most people, you've experienced how the what if mind can create unnecessary stress, and tension, and anxiety, and get us caught in these cognitive loops that don't really serve us in the present moment.

But they just tend to create more worry, more stress, more anxiety. And so as a foundational mindfulness practice, one thing we can do when we find ourselves caught up in the what if mind is to drop back into what is. Shift what if to what is. And so what do we mean by what is? Well, this is just what is the reality of your moment right now? And so you could do it as you're listening. For me, I notice that I'm sitting.

So I feel my, my seat on the cushion. I can see what's around me. There's a roof over my head. I feel my hands on my thighs. I feel the breath moving through my body.

And just notice for you. What what, what is here right now? Maybe there's seeing me. Perhaps there's anything that you can hear, including the sound of my voice, or sounds outside, around you. Maybe there's anything that you can smell or feel in your body. The interesting thing about tuning into what is, is that often what is here is a little less of a catastrophe than the mind is making it out to be.

And the mind has this incredible ability to think about the future and to imagine, and to create. And it's absolutely wonderful. But it also has this ability to create catastrophes that haven't yet happened yet. It makes me think of the Mark Twain quote in where he said, uh, "I've lived a lot of tragedies in my life. Some of them actually happened." You know, this is the what if mind at play.

It takes us into potential suffering and has us live there as if it's already happening. But often when we shift our what if to what is, we see that this moment is a little bit more okay. Not always. Sometimes the catastrophe that the mind is making out does accurately represent the reality of this moment. But I would say more often than not, the mind likes to compound our suffering and creates a lot of stories about what could happen.

And often those things don't even end up happening. So as our first step for this series, the encouragement is to spend today noticing when you get caught up in the what if mind and see if you can drop that into what is here, what is here right now. Try it out. Have it some fun with it. It's great to be here with you.

Thank you for your practice. Now let's settle in for the meditation.

Cory Muscara

5

What If to What Is

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

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, welcome to Day One of our seven day meditation challenge. My name is Cory Muscara. And to kick off this series, I'm going to share a simple mindfulness practice that you can utilize to step out of the chaos of your mind and reground yourself back into the present moment. I like to call this strategy 'shifting your what if to what is'. What if, to what is.

So what is the 'what if mind'? Well, we're all familiar with it, whether we realize it or not. The, what if mind is when we get caught up in thoughts about what could happen? What if that happens? What if this happens? What if this doesn't go well? What if they don't like me? What if I fail? What if, what if, what if. And of course we can all point to times where the what, if mind can be useful. It can help us prepare for something that can go wrong and take necessary action. But if you're also like most people, you've experienced how the what if mind can create unnecessary stress, and tension, and anxiety, and get us caught in these cognitive loops that don't really serve us in the present moment.

But they just tend to create more worry, more stress, more anxiety. And so as a foundational mindfulness practice, one thing we can do when we find ourselves caught up in the what if mind is to drop back into what is. Shift what if to what is. And so what do we mean by what is? Well, this is just what is the reality of your moment right now? And so you could do it as you're listening. For me, I notice that I'm sitting.

So I feel my, my seat on the cushion. I can see what's around me. There's a roof over my head. I feel my hands on my thighs. I feel the breath moving through my body.

And just notice for you. What what, what is here right now? Maybe there's seeing me. Perhaps there's anything that you can hear, including the sound of my voice, or sounds outside, around you. Maybe there's anything that you can smell or feel in your body. The interesting thing about tuning into what is, is that often what is here is a little less of a catastrophe than the mind is making it out to be.

And the mind has this incredible ability to think about the future and to imagine, and to create. And it's absolutely wonderful. But it also has this ability to create catastrophes that haven't yet happened yet. It makes me think of the Mark Twain quote in where he said, uh, "I've lived a lot of tragedies in my life. Some of them actually happened." You know, this is the what if mind at play.

It takes us into potential suffering and has us live there as if it's already happening. But often when we shift our what if to what is, we see that this moment is a little bit more okay. Not always. Sometimes the catastrophe that the mind is making out does accurately represent the reality of this moment. But I would say more often than not, the mind likes to compound our suffering and creates a lot of stories about what could happen.

And often those things don't even end up happening. So as our first step for this series, the encouragement is to spend today noticing when you get caught up in the what if mind and see if you can drop that into what is here, what is here right now. Try it out. Have it some fun with it. It's great to be here with you.

Thank you for your practice. Now let's settle in for the meditation.

Cory Muscara

5

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