I have been on an awakening journey for several months now.
My journey had led me to want to learn more about myself;
- My mind and how powerful the mind is; how to harness the power of the mind, mind scripts and how these mind scripts can cause you to attract certain outcomes in your life
- My thoughts and my emotions
- The ‘Ego’
- The subconscious
- The various states of consciousness
- The brain and more specifically, the concept of nero-hacking and brain coherence
Naturally, delving into the above topics has created an intense urge in me to understand how I can tap into the power of my own mind.
Today, I delve into the topic of mindfulness.
Mindfulness has been frequently linked with happiness.
Apparently, the more mindfulness we can cultivate ourselves on being, the more happiness and peace there will be in the universe.
What is mindfulness, you ask?
I had never heard of this term myself until last year, I believe and I immediately wanted to learn more.
Mindfulness is being fully in this moment (now) and being aware of it.
Mindfulness is essentially the same as meditation.
I never understood why most meditation practices start off with breathing, until I learnt that breathing helps focus your attention; your mind to the now.
Breathing connects the body with the mind.I mean, there are other reasons why breathing is part of meditation practices- it evokes relaxation by calming the mind, etc.
I have since heard of many other definitions of what mindfulness is, but I have been touched by these 2 descriptions;
Mindfulness is a love affair with life
with reality and imagination
with the beauty of your own being
with your heart and body and mind
and with the world!
Book: Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment in your Life
Author: Jon Kabat-Zinn
A love affair with life and with the beauty of your own being and with the world!
Ah! Such a beautiful thing, it beats me that we all haven’t embraced it.
A different way of understanding mindfulness that honestly touched me to the core is the idea that most humans tend to devalue the present moment.
How you may ask?
Think about it for a minute- the way most of us live tends to either be from the past, you know, constantly allowing the past to dictate the present or in the future.
Everything most of us do tends to be a means to an end- you go to college so that you can gain employment. You lose weight so that you can be desirable, you buy a car so that people can admire you and the list goes on.
And unfortunately, the end never comes because once you get the college degree, you go in search for the next achievement and yes, this is the nature of who we are, however, we never stop to just relish the present moment; the achievements thus far.
Because the end we’re all aspiring to is always the next moment, which ironically, never arrives.
Imagine that…whatever we are striving so hard to achieve, always remains in the future because we have completely devalued the present moment. So even when we achieve whatever it is we were striving so hard for, we don’t feel quenched.
The sweetness of the achievement is quickly eroded by our next aspiration, which we delude ourselves will quench us then.
We have become so programmed to live anywhere other than in the present moment that most of us operate on auto-pilot most of the times.
Most of us are just going through the motions of life, emotionless to our present moment, bearing resemblance to zombies (or to doppelgangers, if you watched Lupita’s movie, ‘Us’).
And we can never knock ourselves out of this stupor because we are not even aware that we’re in it to begin with.
Can you imagine living life never being appreciative of your present moment because your sights are constantly set on the prize, which is always in the next moment, and always in the future.
Perhaps let me put it in another way- most of us live life making plans for the future, in itself, a respectable thing, but forgetting to live the only life we have.
And the only life you and I have is the present moment. The past is gone and the future hasn’t yet happened.
Tragically, there are people who are not even conscious of this fact.
So, we strive and struggle to acquire whatever possessions we own, but never take moments to enjoy them because as soon as they are acquired, on to the next goal.
Whatever happened to allowing ourselves to being fully present to our present moments, being conscious that whatever it is you have, whoever it is you are now, was one time the thing, the person you aspired to have/ to be.
I once read this beautiful saying on a friend’s whatsapp profile image;
“Remember the days you prayed for the things you have now”
But how many of us actually do?
How many of us take the time to enjoy our current situations even as we aspire for the next thing.
You ask for a job that allows you time to spend with your children only for you to pick up another task during the time that was meant to be spent with your children.
We say we need a day off to rest only to engage that weekend or when asked by someone what your plans are for the weekend, you say you are looking for plans.
Mindfulness therefore is a brilliant stress buster because when you’re living in the present, you invite power into your life, which cannot be there when you’re not mindful.
It has often been suggested that each time you experience feelings of depression, you’re most likely living in the past and when you experience anxiety, you’re likely to be living in the future.
That’s pretty profound.
The moments in which we are the happiest are the ones we find ourselves most connected to an unadulterated experience of living and not when we are in our heads imposing some belief upon our experiences.
Being mindful requires that you question long-held ideas or beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.
Being mindful requires that we allow ourselves to have fun at the party, metaphorically speaking…you know, without judging the people whose company you are in, the hosts’ choice of decor, whether or not the experience is in line with your idea of what set up is fun-worthy and the million other noises in your head that just seem to want to somehow keep you in check.
The beliefs that most of us have about pretty much everything and everyone rob us from experiencing the full dimensionality of what it is to be human.
These beliefs keep us trapped in our pasts and anxious about the future leaving no room to show up in the present moment.
The constant judging that takes place in our heads (minds) dictate how we perceive each and every moment judging it as good or bad and subsequent feelings for each.
And this state of things is the cause of all our negative emotions.
Every experience you have can be the alternative of a negative one-
When someone keeps us waiting, we may experience negative emotions if we perceive the person who kept us waiting as being disrespectful of our time or if we perceive the time we are waiting as wasted, perhaps you think about what other important thing we could have done, how much traffic we’ll now be caught up in as a result and really, the list of beliefs associated with this situation are countless.
The negative emotions arise from our insistence of operating out of mind scripts that we have identified with, but do not usually bear any resemblance to the actual experience we’re having at any given moment.
Our ego, which basically refers to our identification with our mind scripts, keep us from experiencing life as it is and not as our egos perceive it to be.
If you contrasted this negative experience with a mindful one, where the ego doesn’t dictate the experience, we can discover that being kept waiting is just that, you being late to another event, is also just that.
Nothing more needs to be attached to any of it. In fact, if you can accept the moment as it is and do any number of things that can bring you joy- like observe nature, take a quick nap, take a stroll, watch the life that is around you, etc., you will feel happiness and you will discover that no moment is worth worrying about or stressing about.
Because stress, is wanting the moment you’re in to be something its not.
(Power of Now; Eckhart Tolle)
Can you feel the truth in that statement?
When you’re wishing the person who is keeping you waiting is there, you’re wishing for the reverse of what is and really how good is that serving you and your emotions that just keep self-arousing you and causing you to experience anxiety, anger, frustration, moodiness, etc.
Our unhappiness or source of stress isn’t caused by the situations we find ourselves in, but rather by the stories our minds tell us about those situations.
I realise everything I’ve written aren’t easy concepts for our very programmed minds and yes, you do need to bend your mind somewhat to see it from this perspective, but you also may not be in a position to and that is neither good or bad.
For those who these words have found a resonating chord and you have perhaps experienced an epiphany and are wondering how we can cultivate mindfulness in our lives…
First, welcome to your own awakening and;
Second, yes, you can cultivate more mindfulness in your life.
and these are some of the ways I am infusing mindfulness.