The word mindfulness is used all the time and with it come images of zen-ed out people living a blissfully peaceful life, never getting stressed or angry. Hah!
Firstly, we are all human and all a work in progress. Secondly at some point, no matter how much work we have done with ourselves, something is going to trigger us.
But that's OK. It's how we deal with it that's important.
So let's look at this phenomenan called mindfulness that is meant to bring us a calm and spiritual life.
OK so, the word mindfulness is probably the worst name that could be given to this practice because we don't want the mind involved at all. It's usually responsible for most of our suffering. What we want to connect with and learn from is the awareness behind the mind but I guess awareness sounds a lot more woo woo than mindfulness which sounds purposeful and reserved spiritual somehow.
However, this practice and for now we'll continue to call it mindfulness can help us to become aware of how we think and feel. It can also help us to see how our thoughts and feelings manifest in the world as our speech and actions which are ultimately the tools of the mind.
The more time we spend in quiet reflection, the more aware we become of our core beliefs and whether they are compassionate or unhelpful. We can start to tune into our awareness or spirit, call it what you will and rediscover why we choose to be born into this lifetime and what we wanted to learn from the experience to foster our growth.
We are often told to follow our heart and there is compelling evidence emerging now that we are not mind led creatures but actually heart led beings but I'm not convinced we want to be led by what our heart is telling us as that is usually mistaken for following the emotions that we are feeling. Emotions, like thoughts are not real. They are signposts to show us where we need to go to work on ourselves.
Positive emotions and thoughts mean we're in alignment with our spirt or awareness and negative thoughts and emotions highlight beliefs and habits that are harming us and could be challenged and changed if we want to reduce our suffering. It may be more accurate to let our intuition guide us as that is our authentic driving force and will never steer us wrong. We just need to create an opportunity for it to be heard.
Now I'm sure that you are listening to this thinking one of two things or maybe even both. 1 would be, why would anyone want to continue suffering. And that is a very good question but for some of us, the familiarity of our pain is preferable to the uncertainty and work involved in making the necessary changes and the habit of self medicating through food, substances or routine makes us feel like we are in control.
The second thing may be, what the hell does she mean by spirit or awareness and choosing to be here. Well that's simple. Physicists have proven that energy once created never dies. So if we are going to believe the science, then the energy that was created during the big bang that formed our planet, is the same energy that we are made up of. This means that we are all made of the same stuff and therefore connected and you may have of the term the conscious collective to describe this. But our body clearly doesn't last us for billions of years but the awareness or spirit that we are does, we never die, our energy remains no matter what form it takes and we choose a human experience in the hope that we can all leave the world a better place than we found it, the problem is, we are born knowing what we wanted to do to be better, it just gets drowned out in all the conditioning and the reason we feel meh is because our mind and our awareness are not on the same page.
Here are 10 steps to being more Mindful
1. Create some time and space to be still every day so that you can quiet the mind and allow your awareness or spirit to be heard.
2.work on accepting the reality of the situation. That is what is actually happening rather than what you think should be happening. An example would be, someone is rude to you, you get irate because you don't think they should speak to you like that, you get offended, tell you friends so that they can agree with you and justify your outrage and you get to relive the drama of the situation over and over again and potentially get lost in the ego position of being triggered or feeling superior and lash out in some way towards this person rather than calmly choosing to respond and deal with it appropriately. Whichever method you choose, you are still going to have to deal with the fact that no matter what you think, that person was rude to you and you now have to decide what to do about it. Option 2 just cuts out all the heavy emotions down ego led reactions and enables you to out that energy to better use.
3. Spend time outside. We are connected to the earth and if we down refresh that connection regularly, our wellbeing suffers.
4. Consume well. Choose to eat things that will nourish your body, watch or read things that will nourish your mind, spend time with people or do things that nourish your spirit.
5. Keep your environment supportive. Keep it clean and tidy, use pleasing colours and textures. Minimise harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances and be aware of how your surrounds make you feel.
6.Be of service.Ask yourself each day how you can be kind and helpful to someone with no thought of gaining anything in return other than the knowledge that you have been of service.
7. Do no harm. Watch the language that you use when talking about yourself or others and try to keep it factual rather than inflammatory.
8.Love. Be open to love in all its forms, open your heart to animals and people and look for the best in every situation so that you can tap into the most powerful energy on the planet.
9 Choose happiness. Being happy and peaceful is a state of mind. Nothing external to provide it for you but if you choose to be happy and at peace, external factors can't take it away either.
10. Be grateful. When we are content with what we have in our lives and are appreciative of it, our brain releases feel good chemicals and this can help us to rewrite the neural pathways in the brain overwriting negative thoughts and behaviours do that we can focus on the positive.
I hope you have found this useful and can see ways in which you can start to live more mindfully so that you can begin to bring some of that zen-ed out calm and happiness into your life and the lives of those around you.
As always if you want to know more, please to get in touch.