Don’t be an observer; propel your life forward by being mindful.
Take a moment to observe what you are doing this very minute. You are reading this blog and what else? Are you reading, are you thinking about getting the car repaired, picking up the kids from school, yesterdays office meeting that placed more responsibilities on you, paying your bills this month, etc? Or are you updating your status on Facebook? It is very easy to slip out of the mindful mind and into the thinking mind. Being mindful involves brings one’s awareness back from the past or future, and into the present moment.
The thinking mind is preoccupied with thoughts from the past and/or thoughts about the future. The thinking mind takes you out of the present moment, takes you out of reality, and puts you in a holding pattern. In order for us to live our true life, we must work on getting out of the thinking mind and moving into the mindful mind. When you are mindful, you have constant awareness in all situations. When we are aware of our surroundings, we are able to experience them with clarity and truth. We are no longer a spectator! Instead, we are active participants in life.
When we are in the thinking mind, we are attached to our thoughts, our predisposed ideas, our past experiences, and the commentary that plays over and over in our minds. In the thinking mind, we have preconceived notions, we make assumptions, we make judgments, and we place expectations on people and outcomes.
How do we exit the thinking mind and enter into mindfulness?
1. Begin with your breathing. We hear of people doing mediation and it can sound interesting but overwhelming or not for you, but mediation’s bedrock is breathing. When we sit with our eyes relaxed, we move our attention to our breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through your nose. Work to relax and control your breathing. Become aware of the sensation of your breath as it flows in and out of your nostrils. The sensation of your breath is the objective of mediation. Concentrate on your breathing and block out everything else. In the beginning, your thoughts will try and distract you but with practice and observation of your thoughts, you can achieve clarity and mindfulness. When your thinking mind begins to think and start the mental dialogue, instead of just hearing the thoughts, see the thoughts, and actually let them go. Every time a new thought enters your mind, look at it, and then wave it good-bye and let it go. As you become more and more aware of your thinking mind, you will be able to hush the running dialogue. You hush the inner dialogue by realizing and acknowledging that it is taking place and by letting those thoughts go.
Breathing correctly coupled with the acknowledgement and elimination of the constant mind commentary/chatter takes you from life observer to life participant and you are on the road to a more fulfilling, happy, and vibrantly successful life.
Get out there and live it!