top of page

The Practice of Non-striving & why it's a Mindfulness Attitude to Cultivate

We grow up always working towards something and much of it is driven by our capitalist culture, hunger for more upward growth and need to be seen as a successful individual. We are striving to control our lives, to get something or go somewhere. As a culture we are identified more with the doing aspect of our lives than we are with being. We have lost much of the being rituals we do day to day as a community like sitting around the fire at night, dancing gatherings, wandering through the forrest, bathing outdoors or creativity with no purpose but being together in community.

Mindfulness can feel counterintuitive for those who are deeply identified with individual striving. We all strive in some form of another our culture values it; to be better parents, get better study scores, striving make more money, striving to get a new job, be more present, better work/life balance, be kinder and be the best version of ourselves. The problem with being in a constant state of striving is that we are not open to the present moment and we are actually desiring to be somewhere else.

Mindfulness is about learning to be whole, here and now and it's a really effective place to conduct coaching, counselling and therapy because it's a state of openness. When we are cultivating an attitude of non-striving we coming back to who we really are and able to touch our experience more fully. However unusual it might be seem in mindfulness meditation we take the orientation of not trying to get anywhere else. We allow things to be held in our awareness without needing to change it or influence the experience with some kind of agenda.

Non-striving is incredibly restorative, healing and nurturing for us and brings us back into harmony with ourselves, the pace of nature and our experience. When you next try meditation don't push thoughts away because that is another form of striving to be somewhere else. Instead practice noticing where the thinking mind goes, gently acknowledge the thoughts "ahhh there is thinking about the future/past" and then gently guide your mind back to the object of your attention while noticing how this softens the striving mind. For more mindfulness coaching you may like to join my term 2 workshop, Entering Presence.


bottom of page