I woke up bathed in sweat. Shaking. I woke up with wet hair, and a sensation of having “survived the night”. Oddly, I don’t recall much from my dreams. Under the circumstances, I am so okay with that. lol

I sip my coffee and over and over I work on “letting it go” and restarting my awareness of the day from a newer, later, more comfortable vantage point. It feels like effort. The effort is real, and I am slow to fully wake up, this morning. That’s okay, too. I have another sip of my coffee, grateful it is now almost cool enough to drink. I’m eager to start the work day and put more distance between my waking life and whatever was chasing me in my dreams. lol

I read a lot of articles about “mindfulness”. They’re split between articles about how “dangerous” or “potentially harmful” mindfulness can be (it is most assuredly potentially very effective), or what a waste of time it is – and often the discussion boils down to the very fact that it is effective being a cause for concern – because it may actually do something for you, and yeah, maybe you don’t get to determine specifically what that result looks like – or how over-hyped it is, and why you shouldn’t waste your money, because you could totally do it for free.

Mindfulness is effective.

Mindfulness practices can be undertaken at no financial cost.

There. Simple. Well, but… also… mindfulness is only effective at the things that mindfulness can do or bring to an experience. If we’re looking for something else/different out of it, well… We’re unlikely to get anything but what it is. If we’ve been walking in our sleep all our lives, or living on autopilot with our emotions frozen, taking those first exploratory steps down a mindfulness path? Scary. Emotional. Potentially not at all what we expected. It doesn’t equip us to ignore our truths or hide from our pain, for sure. It rests heavily on the adage that “the way out is through”. If you are approaching mindfulness hoping for blissful avoidance and a glossy cover-style zen outlook on life, you’re probably missing the point. 😉 It’s work. There are verbs involved. It isn’t always emotionally easy, at all.

Mindfulness practices – contemplative practices of any sort, really, I’d expect – do not have to cost money. The exception? What if you know nothing, and need a guide? Someone to “show you how”? Well, that’s where it could become costly. Do you read a book? That’s not too expensive, right there, but it’s hard to ask questions and get an answer. Do you take a class? See a specialist? Go on a luxury retreat? Buy color-coordinated accessories? Remodel your house to include a meditation space? Have a landscaper build you a temple and meditation garden? See what I mean? It doesn’t have to cost anything. That doesn’t mean you, personally, won’t be tempted into spending plenty, based partly on marketing by companies, and partly on what you think a mindfulness practice “looks like”. You have choices.

Speaking of choices… this coffee has gone cold. I’d love to choose to have another leisurely cup, take the morning quite slow, meditate a while, and relax. It is, however, a work day of another sort, and it’s time to begin again. 🙂