Developing a mindfulness practice is kind of like learning to see the water we’re swimming in. Even more than that, it involves the discipline of assuming there is almost always more going on than we can see from deep inside our habitual mental and perceptual grooves. But I’m not going to lie: It ain’t always pretty. To those embarking on a mindfulness journey in the hopes that stress and anxiety will magically melt away I say: buyer beware! Seeing what your mind is full of can be a bit sobering at first. But it’s interesting what happens when just you keep looking. Instead of being tangled in reactivity, we begin to see: Oh, this is frustration…or anger, or worry, or judgment… Seeing that we are having a reaction — and not simply reacting, out of habit — gives us an opportunity to choose a response that is in line with our values and goals.