Mindfulness is a magical gift that we have forgotten about. We have been so busy running our race with our shoes on that we have forgotten what it feels like to feel the grass beneath our feet.
Is it not true that as soon as you close your eyes to go to sleep, your head is bombarded with random thoughts and emotions triggered by the events of the past or the fear of the future. Suddenly your faithful and beautiful mind transforms into a dangerous neighborhood which you wish to escape.
Do you remember how as a child, you were intrigued by little things like dew on the petals, the splendor of rainbows, faces that you could see in the clouds, fluttering of the butterfly or the dew on the grass.
The world is a beautiful place for a child, endlessly exciting and full of beauty and magic.
We need to be that child again and derive happiness and pleasure from the little gems that this world has to offer.
1.What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness in everyday language is the act of being aware of your surroundings and consciously observing them. When you observe, you are not just noticing but delving into all the details that your senses can comprehend.
Remember the legendary detective and my all time favorite Sherlock Holmes. He had this uncanny ability to observe even the minutest of details. He would solve all the mysteries just by finding the details that lay bare before all.
We too can bring a remarkable shift in our lives and develop a great sense of inner peace and control over our thoughts and emotion if we develop this habit of mindfulness.
Just remember to be fully present with your mind and your body with all the senses that make you aware of where you are, what you are doing and not overly reactive of what is going around us.
Surrender to what is,
Let go of what was,
Have faith in what will Be
2. Why is Mindfulness important?
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our lives that we fail to realize that someone inside us is slowly dying from something that is very hard to detect and even more difficult to cure…ROUTINE.
One can claim that being in a routine is being in discipline.
I believe that there is a fine line between the two from which we should be really careful. It is very easy to fall into the trap of monotonous lifestyle which results from repeating the same stuff again and again.
This is where mindfulness will help break the auto pilot mode. When you choose to consciously respond to stimulus and not just react, you show a new level of excitement, interest, and enthusiasm in what you do.
This has been confirmed by the recent developments in the field of neuroscience which attests that meditation and mindfulness help shift our thinking from flight or fight reactions which attributes to an ongoing unhelpful life cycle to much logical thinking and response.
By making mindfulness a daily habit, we can increase the likelihood of exerting more conscious control over our reactions, behaviors, emotions and attitudes.
In doing so, we learn to work with our intention and subconscious guidance. These are all resources that can be harnessed and cultivated.
When you reduce the inner noise, you can listen to your inner voice – SecretSifu
3. Mind-full or Mindful? Choose your way
How long has it been since you last saw the sunrise and sky gleaming with a great hue of red?
I remember the time when I used to take my dog out for a walk. As soon as I opened the doors, I could see it feel the fresh air and warmth of the sun after which it went galloping in the grass.
It intrigued me that how animals show such level awareness to their surroundings and we fail at it.
a. Don’t just see things, OBSERVE
Go out on the first day of the spring or at daybreak. Get amazed by the beauty around you. Feel the grass beneath, the trees that surround you, the breeze around you. Smile when you see a child smiling, don’t just walk past it.
There is joy all around you only if you choose to observe.
What is Life, if full of care,
We have not time to stand and stare – W H Davis
b. Don’t just hear things, listen
Don’t complain about the honking or other cacophony but be mindful of the birds chirping, laughter, river crossing or men humming as they go to work. Again the idea is to be at the moment so that you do not end up running in the auto pilot mode.
c. Don’t just smell it, embrace it
If you wake up early in the morning, you will be greeted by the sweet fragrance of the morning air. This in itself is enough to keep you smiling for the entire day.
As you continue the day, mindfulness will help you be aware of the perfume you are wearing, the deliciousness of the freshly brewed coffee you are sipping or the food you eat.
Another important way to implement mindfulness is to keep on trying something new.
You remember your first bicycle ride, your first date, your first strawberry of the season. The’ first things’ make a lasting impression. Do new things as this will help you maintain the spark you need in your life.
Another important step that I follow is to change the order of things. For example.
- Take a different route to work some of the days.
- Go out for dinner at a new place and try something new.
- Do not go to the same location for your vacations. Do something dramatically different.
- Wear a new set of clothes and be amazed by how different you look.
4. Mindful walk
Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment and noticing thoughts, feelings, and different sensations without any preconceived ideas.
One of the easiest ways I find to practice mindfulness is to take a walk.
Keep some of the points in your mind before you do this exercise, and you will never again be troubled by the pangs of monotony.
- Remember to walk slow.
- Do not ( and this is mandatory) use your cell phone. You may keep it for emergency purpose, but this is your date with your soul and respect it as much as you can.
- Observe the vibrant colors around you, feel the air that blows over your shoulder, experience the weight of your steps and how you place them.
- Feel the fragrance of the flowers or the smoke alike. Just be observant.
- Connect with different sensations in your body.
5. Simple Meditation exercise
- Sit comfortably. Find a spot that is stable, solid, and comfortable.
- Cross your legs comfortably in front of you. If on a chair, rest the bottoms of your feet on the floor.
- Straighten your spine with its natural curvature.
- Place your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Rest the palms of your hands on your legs wherever it feels most natural.
- Close your eyes.
- Focus on your breathing. Bring your attention to the physical sensation of breathing: how you inhale and exhale. Do not force the breath, just observe.
- Don’t chase your thoughts. Remember you are just an observer to your breathing. Thoughts will come and go. If your mind wanders, do not worry. Just gently bring it back to focussing on your breathing.
- Do this for 10 minutes and then gradually increase the time. Open your eyes and take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how relaxed you feel.
Last Thoughts ..
The first need of our age is to restore to men and women their wonder at the universe so that they are mindful of their surroundings.Practice mindfulness to remove dullness in your life that comes from the eternal sameness of life you are living.
Do let us know if you found this helpful and the ways in which you practice mindfulness
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