If Isabella had a small library of books that had informed her spiritual path, I’m pretty sure A New Earth would be in it. I have her copy on my bookshelf. It sat there for several years before I was “ready” to read it. Consider this quote from the author, Eckhart Tolle:
“The mental suffering you create is always some form of non-acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is.”
Recently Isabella has been teaching mindfulness to myriad audiences, from students at Lawrenceville to law students at her alma mater. If space allows, she asks her audience to take warrior pose and hold it. (If you’ve taken yoga with Isabella perhaps you are laughing right now because she’s made you do it!) She asks her students to watch where the mind goes, how much suffering the mind creates once the slightest bit of discomfort arises (which could be the discomfort of boredom, which comes so quickly, or a slight muscular fatigue, or any number of other things).
See the resistance, bring compassionate attention to the resistance, accept the resistance and the mental suffering starts to ease.
Just a few days ago I realized how much suffering I was creating for myself in my mind IN ANTICIPATION OF some vague unknown future suffering related to the pandemic (not having enough, physical suffering, loss of loved ones? IDK). I think Isabella would say that this is one of the main reasons she practices mindfulness… to heighten her ability to see the suffering she is creating for herself and let it go. Not by escaping her reality (like having stage IV lung cancer, which you know she can not). But by simply letting go the self-induced suffering.
Be well. Be present.
– Jess Stevens, writing mindfulness on behalf of Isabella