Mindfulness can be a confusing concept to understand. We can think that we are being mindful when we know that we are upset at someone, but we might not be might not be mindful of the cause of our upset. While surface mindfulness is being mindful of our thoughts and reactions, deep mindfulness is being mindful of the source of our thoughts and reactions. Our emotional reactions generate and shape stories that justify them. For instance, fear generates fearful thoughts. Rigid emotions generate rigid thinking. Fluid emotions generate fluid thinking.
The article below helps to clarify the difference between our thinking mind and our watching mind. When we refer to Mindfulness, we are referring to accessing our "awareness." We can be aware of what we are thinking, and we can be aware of the source of our emotional holdings and triggers. It is this awareness that brings us freedom.