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The definition of Mindfulness:

1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

In this article I will mostly be focusing on the first part of the definition: being conscious or aware of something. The bullet points that follow are little reminders of how through being mindful, conscious or aware, we can shape our experience of life for the better. 🙂

  • THE POWER OF THE MIND

What you think about expands in your life! – Be careful what you think about! Don’t allow your thoughts to be on anything that you don’t want to have manifest or show up in your life! (If you find yourself dwelling on something negative, interrupt the pattern and replace the thought with another that is more positive!)

As we think, so shall we become – Proverb

We attract what we feel and what is on our mind – we therefore have the freedom to attract and create wonderful lives for ourselves! Use the power of your mind favorably, be deliberate and mindful with your thoughts; dream of what you want – so clearly, so precisely, so frequently, that it manifests itself into reality!

Admittedly, it is much easier to visualize good things happening when everything is going well. The real test is to do this when things are not going well. Dream of the life you want and live your future moment in your mind as if it is real and happening right now! It may seem silly at first, but in changing your thoughts and stepping into your future state you are attracting great things to you! Let it be a game, a fun thought-experiment.

frogRecently, my friend’s son was feeling down. He was complaining; “Ugh, I don’t have a job, I don’t have a girlfriend…” His wise mother had him change his language and play around with the idea of already having these things and how that would feel. Instead of focusing on lack and scarcity, he started affirming that these things were already out there waiting for him, he just didn’t have a grip on them yet. He started saying to himself:

“I have a job, I love my job… where is it?” “I have a wonderful partner, I am so happy… where is she? ” Very quickly he was offered a great job and is now in a relationship! Yep, the power of the mind!

  • LANGUAGE

Language is so powerful. Be attentive to the language you use with others and also with yourself! Listen carefully to what you say about yourself, and make sure the little voice inside your head is speaking in a kind, loving, encouraging way! Our self-talk directly effects our experience of life and also how our bodies behave! (Language can subconsciously program us!)

Examples:

“I am stupid” – More than likely your body language will demonstrate this belief. Instead of a confident, upright posture, your body will slump and you may look down to avoid eye-contact. People will respond to your body language, and their response will reinforce your belief. What if you told yourself; “I am capable and confident”, how would you hold yourself with this belief?

“I want to lose weight” – If ever you have lost something, whether your car keys, your wallet, your sanity… you will know you always want it back! Using the word ‘lose’ will not help you in achieving your optimal weight, as we are unconsciously programmed to find and regain anything we lose! Instead use words and phrases like: “shedding weight”, “releasing weight”, “reaching my ideal body weight”, “getting trim and toned”! These are all positive anchors that the mind can hold onto and move you towards! 🙂

  • YOUR EMOTIONS

We may be alive, but we may not truly be living!

Many of us are afraid of truly feeling our emotions. It may be that we are denying our feelings in order to protect ourselves from the more fiery, uncomfortable feelings of self-judgement, fear, criticism, pain, shame, etc…

Sadly, to deny ourselves the opportunity to feel, is to dull the experience of life. To be fully engaged in our feelings – what we are sensing, both emotionally and in the physical body – is to live fully!

Take chances, be brave, let people know how you feel! Go out and have experiences, allow yourself to laugh, to cry, to fail… (if you are not failing, you are probably not taking enough risks!) Be o.k. with feeling uncomfortable, be intrigued, be curious about your new feelings! Give yourself the opportunity to grow, to really feel, to live!

  • TAKING LIFE SERIOUSLY

Life is too important to be taken seriously. – Oscar Wilde

selfieMany of us take ourselves very seriously, especially certain aspects of ourselves that we identify with or feel attached to. You will know if you take something very seriously because it will be something that you are quick to defend or get offended by!

In order to not take life so seriously, figure out what you get offended by, and challenge yourself to find a way to laugh at it. Rather than waiting for someone to challenge or question you on this point, you can be the one who questions it and you can use humor to lighten it!

Questioning is not to say that it no longer matters, it just gives you an opportunity to look at it differently and recognize that at the deepest level, this belief, this attachment is not who you are, it does not define you, it may not be so serious after all!

  • YOUR NEEDS

Many of us are out of touch with our needs – in our busy lives we are mostly reacting to the world as we encounter it! Take some time to check in with yourself and identify your specific needs. What do you need to bring back balance? What would nourish you and help you to feel strong, calm, happy and healthy? You may find that you are in need of, or would benefit from some of the following:

  • Quiet time in nature
  • More rest
  • More activity
  • Time to be creative and express yourself
  • Mental stimulation
  • Social time and connection with others
  • Structure
  • More security
  • A sense of community
  • Better nutrition
  • A better work-life balance
  • More self-love and self-worth
  • A sense of purpose
  • More opportunities to contribute and help others

Once you have identified your needs, commit to making the changes you require (and deserve), you can always ask for help.

  • MANAGING STRESS (Use your breath) 

Stress is one of the worst states our body can be in and something we want to avoid for promoting longevity! When you feel yourself becoming increasingly stressed or overwhelmed, breathe deeply, it will help to bring you back down again. If you can control your breathing, you can handle yourself and the situation smoothly.

Deep breathing is vitally important – when we breathe deeply, our brain is provided with more oxygen, our heart rate becomes steady and we are able to think clearly, feel calmer and act more rationally.

  • THE WANDERING MIND

Many of us tend to project into the future or revisit the past on a regular basis! As we let our minds wander, we deny ourselves the true gift of life, the present moment! Living means embodying the journey, being present for your life as it unfolds, being where you are, who you are, feeling how you feel, right now.

secret-gardenIf you do find your mind wandering to a past memory or deflecting into the future, just catch yourself (without berating yourself). Catching yourself is the doorway into presence! Use this awareness of how you are loosing yourself to root into the present and find yourself once more!

This is where the practice of mindfulness can be useful. As defined earlier, Mindfulness is:

2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

You can practice mindfulness in every moment of your life! No need for a meditation cushion! We all have the capacity to be mindful. Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, thoughts or emotions, you are being mindful. 🙂 You’ve got this!

 

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