The Mindful Way CD

Johns Van

I have created a CD called The Mindful Way on Sound Cloud. The CD starts with My Story and Reasons Why I do what I do. Other tracks include What is Mindfulness, What Mindfulness is Not & Happiness and Benefits. It is an excellent introduction to mindfulness. Follow this link to check it out:

https://soundcloud.com/mindfulness-coach/sets/the-mindful-way

Have you got a story of how mindfulness has transformed your life? Please help make a difference by sharing your story on mindfullyMAD.org (mindfully Making A Difference).

Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always! – John

Mindfulness Day 2016

1Rocks FB

The first Sunday in May is Mindfulness Day. This year, it is 1st May! You may remember the first Mindfulness Day in 2014 when I created a facebook event and invited Australians with mental suffering. 4,700 people turned up and Mindfulness Day launched Mindful May. I wrote a blog every day in May and the event was truly amazing with hundreds of lives transformed. The event became my book Mindful Actions and thousands more lives have been turned around since. I am amazed by the feedback I receive, I especially love hearing from people coming off meds or waking up by way of their mindful practice. This year I have created another facebook event and will be sharing my story, my knowledge and my vision. Please join and be part of the mindful revolution by sharing this event. Go a step further and send me your photo to dress up. For more info, go to mindfullyMAD.org and click on Mindfulness Day.

How is your mindful practice coming along? I was asked by a magazine to write about developing a mindful practice, this is what I wrote:

Mindful practice is about silencing our minds with awareness and focusing on being fully present with what is happening. Having a mindful practice enables us to develop more awareness of our thoughts and feelings. We are able to notice and observe what is going on without getting all caught up, especially the unhelpful and negative stuff. A mindful practice also enables us to pause and create more silence and peace of mind throughout our day.

Mindfulness doesn’t stop the never-ending flow of mental chatter, nor does it stop the ebb and flow of our feelings. Sometimes we avoid practising mindfulness because we feel that something is going on deep down inside. It could be that we’re feeling anger, fear, sadness, past trauma, powerless, unmotivated or just tired. We know if we pause or stop we might have to deal with what is happening. Instead of stopping to acknowledge and feel what is coming to the surface, we distract ourselves by eating chocolate, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, focusing on our to-do list, watching TV, working too hard or many other distractions.

As we develop our mindful practice, we learn to recognise these unhelpful feelings for what they really are, just feelings. We learn that feelings aren’t facts and we make room for them or simply choose to let them go. A mindful practice helps us to connect fully with our whole being, mind, body, heart and soul. Then by deepening our practice of being present, the connection with ourselves deepens. We feel more connected to love, joy, peace, aliveness, strength and many other qualities. The flow on effect is the ability to deepen our presence with our loved ones and everyone we connect with in our daily lives.

The very essence of mindfulness is awareness in its purest form. With practice, mindful awareness becomes second nature, your home base and your refuge. With practice, your sense of awareness (or the silent observer as I like to call it) starts to abide more and more in your daily life. With practice, you will be able to readily step back and be the silent observer of your thoughts and feelings. Notice how I keep repeating ‘with practice’? Practice is the overall key to developing mindfulness and I cannot overstate it enough.

Use of the key thought ‘Be Mindful’ is a great way to trigger instant mindful awareness, no matter what is happening in any given moment. Use ‘Be Mindful’ to activate the silent observer of your thoughts and feelings without any judgement. When you activate the silent observer, you are also tuning in to your sixth sense or intuition. It is a sure way to tap into your creative genius. It is also a sure way to gain clarity of mind and a strong sense of priority. Be sure to pause and tune in at regular intervals to maintain your mindful practice.

Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always! – John

Wayne Dyer about Lao-tzu Teachings

Present Lao Tzu

I am a huge fan of Dr Wayne Dyer, this is what he had to say about the teachings of Lao-tzu:

“Some 2,500 years ago, Lao-tzu spoke of ‘the four cardinal virtues’ and noted that when we practice them as a way of life, we come to know and access the truth of the universe. These four virtues don’t represent external dogma, but a part of our original nature—by practicing them, we realign with Source and access the powers that Source energy has to offer. According to the teachings of Lao-tzu, the four cardinal virtues represent the surest way to leave habits and excuses behind and reconnect to your original nature. The more your life is harmonized with the four virtues, the less you’re controlled by the uncompromising ego.

The First Cardinal Virtue: Reverence for All Life
The first cardinal virtue manifests in your daily life as unconditional love and respect for all beings in creation. This includes making a conscious effort to love and respect yourself, as well as to remove all judgments and criticisms. Understand that you are a piece of God, and since you must be like what you came from, you are lovable, worthy, and Godlike. Affirm this as often as you can, for when you see yourself in a loving way, you have nothing but love to extend outward. And the more you love others, the less you need old excuse patterns, particularly those relating to blame.

The Second Cardinal Virtue: Natural Sincerity
This virtue manifests itself as honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness; and it’s summed up by the popular reminder to be true to yourself. Using an excuse to explain why your life isn’t working at the level you prefer isn’t being true to yourself—when you’re completely honest and sincere, excuses don’t even enter into the picture. The second virtue involves living a life that reflects choices that come from respect and affection for your own nature. Make truth your most important attribute. Walk your talk; that is, become sincere and honest in all that you say and do. If you find this to be a challenge, take a moment to affirm: I no longer need to be insincere or dishonest. This is who I am, and this is how I feel. When you know and trust yourself, you also know and trust the Divinity that created you. If you live from honesty, sincerity, and faithfulness to the callings of your spirit, you’ll never have occasion to use excuses.

The Third Cardinal Virtue: Gentleness
This virtue personifies one of my favourite and most frequently employed maxims: ‘When you have the choice to be right or to be kind, always pick kind.’ So many of your old thinking habits and their attendant excuses come out of a need to make yourself right and others wrong. When you practice this third virtue, you eliminate conflicts that result in your need to explain why you’re right. This virtue manifests as kindness, consideration for others, and sensitivity to spiritual truth.
Gentleness generally implies that you no longer have a strong ego-inspired desire to dominate or control others, which allows you to move into a rhythm with the universe. You cooperate with it, much like a surfer who rides with the waves instead of trying to overpower them. Gentleness means accepting life and people as they are, rather than insisting that they be as you are. As you practice living this way, blame disappears and you enjoy a peaceful world.

The Fourth Cardinal Virtue: Supportiveness
This virtue manifests in your life as service to others without any expectation of reward. Once again, when you extend yourself in a spirit of giving, helping, or loving, you act as God acts. As you consider the many excuses that have dominated your life, look carefully at them—you’ll see that they’re all focused on the ego: I can’t do this. I’m too busy or too scared. I’m unworthy. No one will help me. I’m too old. I’m too tired. Now imagine shifting your attention off of yourself and asking the universal mind How may I serve? When you do so, the message you’re sending is: I’m not thinking about myself and what I can or can’t have. Your attention is on making someone else feel better.

The greatest joy comes from giving and serving, so replace your habit of focusing exclusively on yourself and what’s in it for you. When you make the shift to supporting others in your life, without expecting anything in return, you’ll think less about what you want and find comfort and joy in the act of giving and serving.
The four cardinal virtues are a road map to the simple truth of the universe. To revere all of life, to live with natural sincerity, to practice gentleness, and to be in service to others is to replicate the energy field from which you originated.”

Mindfulness is about paying attention with flexibility, curiosity and openness. A mindful practice involves pausing your mind with awareness throughout your day and connecting to source energy within. The power of mindfulness is in the silence between your thoughts. Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always ~ John

Mindfulness Masters

Elephant MM Logo1

What does it mean to be a mindfulness master? What are the qualities of a mindfulness master? Insightful, kind and loving come to mind but it’s hard to be sure unless we ourselves are masters. I started my mindful practice in 2009 and also started an intensive five year study into the many aspects of mindfulness. In 2014, I wrote a book called Mindful Actions and have witnessed many lives transformed through mindful practice. Here is a list of the most prominent qualities that mindfulness masters aspire to. Keep in mind that there are many stages to go through to become a master and everyone, both men and women alike, are somewhere on their path to mindfulness mastery.

  1. Loving, Kind and Empathic

Mindfulness masters are loving, kind and empathic. They genuinely care about other people, regardless of whether people care about them in return. Masters know that other people provide them with the spiritual nourishment needed to continue growing. They fully realise that everyone and everything is their teacher. Masters are so full of love that it has no choice but to overflow to all around them.

  1. Open-Minded and Insightful

Mindfulness masters are open-minded and insightful. They are able to see the world with clarity, without attachment to preconceived ideas about people, places and things. This enables them to observe the world without judgement or jumping to conclusions. Limiting beliefs are replaced with clarity of vision and understanding the bigger picture.

  1. Inner Strength

Mindfulness masters have great inner strength. They have learned intuitive ways of connecting with people and skillful ways of connecting with source energy within. Masters draw inner strength from our divine creator and understands their connection to life itself. They no longer have a need for the power struggles that most people engage in.

  1. Presence

Mindfulness masters are fully present with everyone they encounter. They have developed their own mindful practice and are very skilful in maintaining presence and awareness in all their relationships. Masters use all five physical senses and understand the concept of the silent observer or sixth sense. They trust in the intuitive process, not only from people but also from the energy that is connected to life itself. Masters realise that intuition speaks into the silence between their thoughts.

  1. Leadership

Mindfulness masters lead by example. Having awakened to the point of understanding the nature of suffering, they are committed to helping other people find freedom from suffering. They lead with love and cooperation, rather than fear and control. People follow them because of who they are and what they stand for. Masters value empathy and listening skills very highly as leadership traits.

  1. Happy

Mindfulness masters are happy and joyful. They have a cheerful disposition and are willing to share their joy with others. Masters understand that happiness isn’t the destination… happiness is the journey! They are always optimistic that challenges have a resolution. Masters are also very proficient at turning negatives into positives.

  1. Ordinary

Mindfulness masters are unpretentious. They know their place in the universe, and don’t need validation from others. Masters have nothing to prove to anyone, including themselves. They’re humble nature allows them to be kind and gentle, and be open to everyone they encounter.

  1. Patient and Understanding

Mindfulness masters are patient and understanding. They have learnt to be patient through their own journey. Masters understand that things happen when they are meant to and that the next step comes at the right time. They understand the challenges of creating a rich, full and meaningful life and never condemn people for their missteps or mistakes.

  1. Peaceful and Easygoing

Mindfulness masters are peaceful and easygoing. This is because they are free of fear and other unwholesome emotions. They know that the human condition reaches beyond physical existence, so they no longer have any fear of the unknown. Masters are free of worry because they understand that inner peace comes from within, and not from external happenings. They also have freedom from suffering because they know that inner peace does not depend on material possessions or abundance.

  1. Emotionally Stable

Mindfulness masters are emotionally stable because they no longer have an ego that needs validation. They don’t get angry because they are understanding and compassionate toward those who have not yet fully awakened. Masters understand that the actions of others are often not the actions of their authentic self but actions from their egoic nature.

  1. Mindful of Health

Mindfulness masters are mindful of their health… physical, mental and emotional. They know that the mind, body and spirit must be in harmony in order to maintain balance and vitality. Masters have developed an understanding of physical and mental health and do not depend on others for their wellbeing.

  1. Committed to Mindful Practice

Mindfulness masters never forget how they achieved mindful mastery. They are very aware that it takes continuous effort to maintain their mindful practice. Above all, masters are mindfully aware of themselves and the world around them. They are curious and always willing to learn from others. Masters can see with great clarity and understand the true nature of their existence. At the same time, they recognise that it takes time to observe, investigate and gain the knowledge necessary to achieve mindfulness mastery.

This is not a comprehensive list of the qualities of mindfulness masters but these are the most prominent. The purpose for highlighting these qualities is to give us a compass to guide us on our mindful journey… a vision of the path that lies ahead. It takes real effort and dedication but it is well worth it. Are you a mindfulness master? Please consider joining the team of mindfulness mentors at mindfullyMAD.org (mindfully Making A Difference) Need a little training to be a mindfulness mentor? Take a look at my certificate course.

Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy and Peace Always! – John

Mindful Gratitude

Practice Gratitude

“Can you say ‘Thank You?’”

One of the first things we teach our kids as soon as they learn to speak is to say, “Thank you.” Think of the countless times you have said, “what do you say?…” to prompt your child to utter these words. But do our kids really have any idea what it means to be thankful?

Practicing gratitude has benefits that go beyond having a polite kid. Studies show that people who practice gratitude feel 25% happier, are more likely to be kind and helpful to others, are more enthusiastic, interested and determined, and even sleep better.  

And grateful children and teens tend to thrive. Kids who practice gratitude get higher grades, are more satisfied with their lives, are more integrated socially and show fewer signs of depression.  

So how can families practice gratitude in meaningful ways so that our kids learn what it means to be thankful? Here are a few ideas:

  • Express your appreciation for each other.
    In my house we started this as a birthday tradition. When it is someone’s birthday we go around the table and express what we all appreciate about that person. The first time we did this it was uncomfortable for me, it felt ‘cheesy’ for lack of a better term. But when I heard the amazing things my kids had to say it quickly became my favorite family ritual, and we remind each other of what has been said often.
  • Acknowledge the small stuff.
    When we practice mindfulness it helps us to be present in our relationships and pay attention to our environment. Often it is easy to go through the day distracted, out of sync with our environment and the people around us. When you are with your kids, be intentional about noticing the beautiful flowers, bright blue sky, the helpful person at the coffee counter, and the nice man who held the door for you. Your appreciation for the the little things around you will rub off on your kids.
  • Make a gratitude jar.
    This can be a fun project for kids. Find a container and let the kids decorate it. Cut out some pieces of scratch paper and put them in a convenient place so that family members can write down things they feel grateful for and place the paper in the jar. If kids can’t yet write then having them draw a picture of something works great also! Then, open the jar once a week or once a month and read what everyone has written.
  • Make it part of your bedtime routine.
    Take a few minutes at the end of each day to show appreciation for the little things in your life for which you are thankful. It is important for parents to model gratitude for meaningful things like relationships, kindness, and the natural beauty in your environment (rather than your 60 inch plasma TV or your new ipad). This is a wonderful way to end each day!

A huge Thank You to Kristen Pace from Mindful Life for this blog. Mindfully Yours with Love & Gratitude Always! ~ John

What Mindfulness is Not

 

 

 

Swan Lake

One thing is certain… mindfulness is not easy, but it is simple. It doesn’t come naturally, that is why it requires much practice. It’s not about relaxing. Mindfulness just means noticing what’s happening, including the things we find difficult. It doesn’t involve listening to panpipes to escape your worries. It isn’t a meditation practice. Mindfulness is a practice for the whole of life. It’s about finding a different way to respond to experience throughout your day.

It isn’t about emptying your mind. Minds produce thoughts, it’s what they’re built for, and your mind keeps on producing them even if you do happen to be meditating. You can become calm and settled by learning to accept your thoughts, making room for them or letting them go. It is always good to remind yourself that thoughts are just that… thoughts. No need to dwell on them, fight with them, act on them or try to avoid them.

It isn’t Buddhist. It is true that mindfulness has it’s roots in the age of Buddha but no-one owns mindfulness. Mindfulness has evolved and has now become the merging of ancient eastern philosophy and the latest western psychology. The beauty of mindfulness is that it is not a religion at all. However, all religions could greatly benefit from having a mindful practice.

It isn’t a technique. Mindfulness isn’t something you do. It’s a way of being. It isn’t a way to fix our problems. Mindfulness can help eliminate depression, anxiety, stress or chronic pain, but not by fixing them. We learn to relate in a new way to the things that trouble us, rather than trying to make them go away. Having a mindful practice is about re-training our minds so that we can cope with whatever comes our way.

It isn’t about doing things slowly. Some mindfulness courses include things like eating a raisin slowly. That does help you to notice details that you may otherwise miss. It also highlights the fact that we often rush or go through the motions while thinking about other things. But that doesn’t mean that you should do everything slowly. A mindful practice is about doing things on purpose, even if they are sometimes at a fast pace.

It isn’t scientific. Research into the effects of mindfulness and its impact on the mind and body are impressive. It is helping to bring mindfulness into the mainstream. Science can measure what mindfulness does, but it can’t measure what it is. Measuring mindfulness is a science; practising it is an art that requires presence, awareness, connection and living in the moment.

It isn’t a fad. Mindfulness is certainly becoming popular, but is it a fad? Our communities are becoming more distracted than ever before. Mindlessness is rampant and there is a growing epidemic of mental suffering. Modern culture seems to be focused on wanting more, getting more and having more. Mindfulness is about being grateful in the moment and is here to stay!

This is from my certificate course Keys to Mindfulness Mentoring. Check it out, especially if you want to make a difference in young peoples lives. Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy and Peace Always! – John Shearer

Be a Mindfulness Mentor

MM PACE Tree

Be a Mindfulness Mentor

Are you a teacher, counsellor or coach? I encourage you to enrol in my certificate course to learn the keys to be a Mindfulness Mentor. Why not add this skill to your already impressive capabilities? You have clearly demonstrated that you have a heart to make a difference in peoples lives by doing what you do. Now is the time to join the team at mindfullyMAD.org (mindfully Making A Difference) and make an even bigger impact on your clients/students. (this is optional)

Our vision is world mental health without medication. Our mission is love, peace and happiness through the practice of mindfulness. Our objective is to lobby for mindfulness in schools. Our focus is prevention of mental suffering and suicide.

If you would like more information, please send an email to mindfulmad@gmail.com

Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always! – John

 

Mindful Connection

Star Fish

We are All One, One with Spirit, One with Life!

Mindful connection is the goal of developing a mindful practice. Mindful connection with your loved ones, your friends and co-workers. Mindful connection with your authentic higher self which is part of universal spiritual energy. Mindful connection with life in all its diversity. A mindful practice is a process that brings about realisation of your true oneness with all that is.

Be Mindful is the key thought that helps in the transformational process. Be Mindful is the main theme in my book Mindful Actions and I teach it to all my clients. Be Mindful is the basis for every guided meditation that I conduct, whether in a group or in one-on-one sessions.

Being mindful is the ongoing practice of pausing your mind chatter and focusing your attention on the present moment with awareness. Anytime you find yourself in a stressful situation or under pressure, let Be Mindful be the trigger to take you to a place of peaceful presence or of heightened awareness. Use Be Mindful whenever you have an unhelpful thought or feeling, to shift focus to your values or purpose.

Use Be Mindful as a powerful trigger to pause and connect to your inner wisdom. Use Be Mindful as a magical trigger to silence your mind to enhance creativity and innovation. Use Be Mindful as a loving trigger that brings about full presence of mind, resulting in heightened intuition and intimacy in your relationships.

Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always! – John Shearer

I Believe…

Yamba Beach

I Believe…

  1. that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
  2. that the happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.
  3. that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
  4. that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
  5. that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
  6. that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
  7. that the people you care about most in life are often taken from you too soon.
  8. that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
  9. that you can do something in an instant that could give you heartache for life.
  10. that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
  11. that you can keep going long after you think you can’t.
  12. that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
  13. that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
  14. that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
  15. that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
  16. that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
  17. that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
  18. that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
  19. that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
  20. that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
  21. that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
  22. that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
  23. that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.
  24. that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you – you will find the strength to help.
  25. that you should share this with all of the people that you believe in… I just did.

My best friend shared this with me. Please pay it forward! Mindfully Yours – John