Mindful awareness is about getting to know ourselves better as we bring our attention to what is going on both inside and around us in the present moment, without trying to change or fix anything. It is about allowing ourselves to experience our whole range of thoughts and emotions — from pure joy to painful vulnerability — and accepting our responses to what is happening in our lives. This is not to say that we have to accept the situation itself. Suppose, for example, that I am angry and frustrated with the way that my manager is treating me. Whilst I might accept that these are my feelings, this does not mean that I must accept that person’s actions.
Developing awareness of this kind helps us to see each moment as it unfolds around us with more clarity. It enables us to respond to what is actually happening rather than reacting to situations with all the worries and concerns from past events or imagined future happenings. Choices and solutions that were previously hidden from view are given the chance to reveal themselves.