I was on a course last week to learn how to teach mindfulness in schools, and they showed us a clip from Kung Fu Panda, which brilliantly illustrates why mindfulness emphasises being in the present moment.
Panda is giving himself a hard time because he’s struggling with his Kung Fu training. His first reaction is to stuff himself full of peaches (you might be more likely to choose chocolate) and then tell Oogway he sucked more today than anyone in the history of sucking!
He’s regretting his past actions and extrapolating from them that his future is hopeless.
The wise Oogway cheers him up with an old saying, reminding him there’s no use in fretting: the future’s a mystery, the past is history, today’s a gift that’s why they call it the present!
I like the clip because it’s easy to relate to what Panda’s doing with his emotional eating and self-criticism, but it also seems a bit of a silly over-reaction, which is also the same for us most of the time.
Next time you’ve had a tough day, watch this clip again and see if it doesn’t put a smile on your face.