Mindfulness' is a popular buzzword these days, but what does it mean? An Amazon search reveals over 9,000 book results for that one little word. That's a lot of reading! Can mindfulness possibly be that complicated?
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of the now (the present moment you are in), and of how you are affecting yourself, others, and your surroundings with your behavior. Your behavior consists of your thoughts, emotions, attitudes, actions, and reactions.
All of us, at times, are wrapped up in our own stories, reliving the past, projecting into the future, taking everything in the world to mean something about us personally. When we live immersed in our thoughts and emotions, and trying to figure out what it all means, we miss what's taking place - you know, the actual living of life.
With mindfulness, we can stop being so concerned with the past and the future. We practice feeling our emotions as they come (that doesn't necessarily mean reacting or responding to them), and we acknowledge that our thoughts don't control us. Rather, the practice of mindfulness teaches us that we are neither our thoughts, nor our emotions. In fact, we are not even our bodies. The aspect of us who is thinking thoughts, and feeling emotions- that is something beyond the hardware of our physical bodies. Thoughts don't think themselves, after all, yet they come from somewhere.
Science tells us that energy changes form, but never dies. Therefore, in the practice of mindfulness, we are consciously altering the form of the energy that makes up our experience of life.In mindfulness, we stop reacting, and we begin to choose our responses based on the needs of the present moment. In that way, we begin to radically change our lives. No longer are we driven by learned patterns, habits, and unconscious beliefs, because we are finally making conscious choices, and it changes everything - everything! - for the better.
If you don't know how to get present to even attempt to begin a mindfulness practice, start with noticing your own breathing. As you become aware of your inhalations and exhalations, you are, by default, in the present, where the breathing is taking place.
Set the timer on your phone to chime every 15 minutes, and when it does, focus on 3 breaths, then go back to whatever you were doing. When that becomes easier, focus on your breath, then see if you can go a little deeper, and be aware of your heartbeat. Can you feel it by focusing on it? And when that is easy, focus on the flow of blood through your veins and arteries as your heart beats, taking the oxygen from each new breath around to feed your cells.
Don't take anything personally. How you think and feel and act is under your ownership to change or not. How others think, feel, and act is about them, and how they feel. When you feel derailed from being mindful, check to see if you are internalizing the behaviors of others. And if so, knock it off. Go back to your breath, your actions, and choose your responses consciously.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
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