Stillness is your essential nature. When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Mindfulness is a practice that leads to a richer life experience. It is always positive in approach and involves awareness, consciousness and attentiveness. It is a profound way of changing negative and maladaptive thought patterns. Ordinary tasks and activities can take on new meaning and life is experienced at a deeper level. Most people who use mindfulness describe leading their lives with joy, contentment and love.
When we are mindful of our dealings with others, we become fully present and our relationships improve. When are mindful of the physical aspects of our nature, we have thoughts of health and wholeness. When we are mindful of all we have, we appreciate the vast richness of life and become more generous and open to receiving. We are grateful for life itself.
Learning to live mindfully is perhaps the greatest tool available in healing from past wounds and relieving fear of the future. Mindfulness begins as a method to change one’s mind, but eventually manifests as a way of life if practiced consistently. When we are alert and aware, we are present to what is unfolding right now in this moment. The discipline helps us accept life as it is now rather than fighting the future or mourning the past.
When we are living consciously, we are in touch with what is important in life. Our egos diminish and we are more comfortable with and kind to ourselves and others. It helps us to understand that life only exists in the now because the past is gone and the future doesn’t exist. Mindful living allows us to accept, enjoy or to be enthused about life, a moment at a time..
A few suggestions to get you started:
When you wake up, stay in bed for a couple moments. Even if you are running behind, take a few minutes and start the day out right. Stretch your body into wakefulness. Begin your day calmly and peacefully.
Begin to ask yourself “what am I doing right now.” If you’re like most people, you will realize you’re thinking of many other things than what you are doing. You’re most likely on autopilot and thinking about something in the future or the past. For example, instead of enjoying and being grateful for the warm water of the shower, you might be thinking about the meeting you have to attend later in the day or the fight you had with your spouse the evening before. Direct your attention back to the present.
Remember to breathe throughout the day. Find some cues that will remind you, such as when you are a stopped at a red light, before you walk into work, when you sit down at the computer. Take 3 breaths. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Do this many times throughout your day.
Take a break every hour. It doesn’t need to be long. Even as little as a couple minutes can help you to realign and center yourself. Practice an affirmation. Stand up and stretch. Walk outside for a moment and notice the color of the sky, how the wind feels on your face, or look for an interesting flower or insect.
Take note of what you are thinking? Be aware of your thoughts. Are they negative or positive? Do you notice a theme? Allow them to pass through your mind without judgment. They are just thoughts. Let them go.
Be in nature. Notice the details. What draws your attention? What gives you pleasure? Be still. Relax and become aware of the energy within.
Spend as much time as you can with people you love. Connect with others and listen to what they are saying. Notice what mood they seem to be in. Ask them what they are feeling or thinking about.
Focus on what is right with the world. Practice gratitude and positivity.
Life will be better when you wake up and become mindful