Tuesday Tip: Open UpSeptember 28, 2021
In this week’s Tuesday Well-Being Tip, we explore how to practice radical openness by letting go of effort and control.
The art of “being” rather than “doing,” is at the heart of many of the “open awareness” practices on the Healthy Minds Program app and in the Healthy Minds Framework for Well-Being. But what if you brought this openness outside of your solo meditation and into the world? Moving out of routine and control and into openness with your experiences can support our need to get more comfortable with our current inconsistent state of being, driven by the constant changes from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
If you’re like most people – you move through your day by habit – ticking off items on your to-do list in the manner you are most used to. Then – something happens to shift your pattern, and this can lead to a feeling of a lack of control which may drive anxiety or other mental health related issues. So preparing for the inevitable change of our current circumstances can help us get more comfortable – and hopefully, reduce stress.
Here’s an example of how you can do this. The next time you find yourself interacting with someone, see if you can practice radical openness. Try to just be with that person, without forcing anything. No need to force yourself to be a certain way, or to convince them of anything, or try to steer the conversation. Just be.
What about errands? You most likely have a weekly set of errands you complete the same way each time. What if this time you approach errands and chores with a sense of openness? Move beyond your assumptions and habits and see what opens up. Sometimes we find ourselves striving to pay attention to one thing over another. But in this case, let your mind do what it does. Simply observe it without judging anything or trying to control it.
The key is to let go of effort and control. You can do this with almost any activity – open up to any and all experiences and let your mind roam freely, wherever it wants to go. Continue your activities with a sense of open, effortless awareness.
We’re training our mind with these practices to notice when we resist – to notice when we can’t adapt but instead move to control. Given the state of the world – doing these types of practices can help us get more and more comfortable letting go of this control.
And of course you can always check back in with the Open Awareness meditations in the Healthy Minds Program app for a bit of guidance with your practice. Give Letting Go with Compassion a shot, and good luck opening up!
Get more practices and tips by downloading the Healthy Minds Program App, freely available thanks to the generosity of our donors wherever you get your apps. Dive deeper into the Healthy Minds Framework for Well-Being by registering for our upcoming Masterclass: Founders Edition.