What exactly is mindfulness? The first aspect of mindfulness is to be aware of what your mind is focusing on and being able to consciously choose what thoughts you decide to dwell on and which should be allowed to pass through. The mind is constantly filled with a variety of thoughts. The question is whether you can choose to focus on those that are empowering and assist in your progress without dwelling on those that take you away from your goals by creating blocks and negative energy.
The second aspect of mindfulness is the practise of remaining in the present moment at all times. This is most people’s greatest challenge. Many people focus excessively in the past and experience guilt, regret or depression. The past cannot be changed and should consist of good memories and lessons learned. Those who live primarily in the future tend to be worriers which can lead to stress and/or anxiety. They constantly invent potential disasters in their mind that may or may not happen. However, the fear of those possibilities tends to paralyse them from taking the action and bold risks that are needed to achieve ultimate success.
There are positive ways to focus on the future, and a certain amount of it is necessary. Having dreams and setting goals are essential for having a clear understanding of where you are heading and how to get there. Visualization is another positive way of envisioning positive outcomes for the future, and it is an essential component for the success of life. The key to mindfulness is to know the general direction of your path but to have your mind and energy focused on acting only in the present. This will enable you to act and react to current conditions with appropriate action without being limited by either worry or guilt.
When your complete energy is focused on the present moment, guess what happens? You are no longer fighting against your mind but are engrossed in the creative process of utilising all of your skills to the maximum to achieve your dreams. You find that your emotions begin to work in your favour instead of holding you back out of fear and anxiety. The entire process becomes one filled with empowering, positive energy instead of fear and lethargy.
Part of everyday mindfulness is to resist the urge to multitask. When eating a meal concentrate on the food and chewing it properly, savouring each taste and texture. You will enjoy it more and tend to eat less than if you mindlessly wolf it down while trying to read the newspaper. The same goes with just about any activity you engage in. Giving one activity at a time your full, unwavering attention until it is finished is a trademark of successful people in all fields. Trying to do too many things at once tends to lead to scattered thinking and a sense of never really finalising any of the things you want to accomplish.
Being ‘in the flow’ is another great tool for developing mindfulness. In the flow means that the subconscious mind has taken over and is no longer being blocked and controlled by the conscious mind. This is the real goal of mindfulness, to allow your conscious mind to get out of the way and allow your subconscious to create the flowing, magical creativity for which it has trained all your life. The process of being in the flow is one of almost mystical confidence in your own abilities with no judgment or evaluation. It is almost like your true essence has moved outside of your body and you are simply watching this incredible performance taking place. Flow can actually put you in the realm of the mystics who connect with the greater power of the universe and allow that unlimited power to heighten all their capabilities. This is the ultimate in mindfulness, being aware that you have a direct connection to a source of higher power and trusting that you can access it and use it not just for selfish gains, but to enable you to perform at a level that will inspire others to also aspire to reach their full potential.
Make practising mindfulness one of your goals in 2014. Love & Laughter Always! – John