Before we delve into this topic and the importance of it, I’d just like to take a moment into explaining why it is, I initially started this blog series. My intention was and is simply this; to help inspire others to live a more fulfilling life. Nothing more and nothing less. Why? My hope in life is that we as a species will soon realise that we are all connected. Therefor, why not help one another along the way? In my opinion, we are all the same regardless of religion, spiritual beliefs, upbringing, gender, race, sexuality. We are all born. We will all die. It’s what we do in between all of that, that is important and it is never too late to change the course of that.
One of the biggest staples of my life other than my creativity has been my spirituality. I don’t subscribe to any religion as I believe a person’s spiritual journey is wholly unique and can only be understood through experience or gnosis (knowledge).
This isn’t to exclude atheists. There was actually a time I was atheistic in my view on life. I understand the need for hard, cold facts and that is perfectly fine. I’m not trying to convert anyone here. If what I say resonates then great if not that’s perfectly fine too.
So, back to the topic at hand.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Too often we lose the meaning of an act in trying to explain it. As a writer, I love to convey ideas and stories with a broad vocabulary but a basic definition is this;
Mindfulness is acting within the now with a strong sense of awareness.
We’ve all heard the phrase: mind your manners. Being mindful is just that; being aware of how your words and actions will affect your surroundings both positively and negatively.
It is a practice that can be used by anyone.
There are a few codes I live by in life. One of those codes is taken from Wicca and that is; do as thou wilt but harm none. I’m well aware that there are perverse religions and individuals out there that have tainted that code but I will refrain from giving them any space here.
The other code has been fortified by my humanitarian outlook and that is to live mindfully. There is no right or wrong way to doing this other than being aware of your intention. The law of karma: what you put out in life, comes back on you or again in Wicca; if you point one finger, you have three pointing back at you.
HOW CAN WE BE MORE MINDFUL?
In case you’ve missed the first three posts in this series, once we have gained a strong level of self-awareness, it will go hand in hand with being more mindful. We will be able to reflect on situations with a broader perspective and ultimately we will be able to see the bigger picture.
It is important to operate in the present moment. That in itself is an aspect of mindfulness.
So how do we get our racing minds back into the now …
This can be achieved by controlled breathing. I mentioned the “5 seconds in 5 seconds out” technique in my first blog 3 Tips To Help Change Your Life Right Now. It’s an extremely effective way to bring your mind to focus and brings your awareness back to your body and back to the present. Once you’ve brought your mind to the present, take a moment to reflect on the situation at hand. Does it require a response? This is often an overlooked point of mindfulness. We have been conditioned throughout life to instantly respond and this is something we need to unlearn.
Your time and energy are the two most valuable assets you have, so being mindful will help in spending your time and energy wisely. There are no refunds for time and equally, depleted energy wells can take some time to replenish.
Only look back to times that these were spent on unfulfilling situations in order to remind you of how valuable these are to you.
WHAT TO DO WHEN NEGATIVE EMOTIONS ARE TRIGGERED?
Firstly, we are human. We are supposed to experience a spectrum of emotions and feelings. It is about time we normalized negative thoughts and feelings because guaranteed we have all, at some point in our lives, experienced them. They should not be taboo. We have to experience the extremes in order to better understand them and in doing so they will ultimately benefit us as individuals.
So, how can we be mindful when we feel negatively triggered?
This is a tried and trusted method for me especially in regards to feeling frustrated or upset with a situation. I’ve overcome my frustration with people, which I’ll get into in a minute but when it comes to a situation, I will evaluate that situation as a whole then dissect it. On a whole, I’ll ask myself, ‘how does it make me feel?’ As simple as; does it make me feel good or bad?
Then I will dissect it, which sounds slightly clinical but in order to understand how things work we have to take them apart and examine the pieces.
Are there positives pieces to take away from that situation? If so, do they outweigh the negatives? Asking these particular questions helps to perceive the bigger picture.
The final step is realizing that the situation at hand is only ever temporary. Allow that thought to sink in. Just as we are temporary, a perceived, negative situation will not last forever. The same goes for emotions. A feeling will only ever last as long as we choose to give it our time and energy.
In regards to people, the trickiest lesson I think a lot of us have to learn is that we are not responsible for the feelings and actions of others. We are only ever responsible for our own thoughts, feelings and actions.
I actually liken people to radio frequencies. Often, you’ll be fortunate enough to find those that operate on your frequency and the flipside to that, is that unless you become a recluse, you’ll undoubtedly come across people that you won’t find common ground with.
So how do you practice mindfulness in regards to that?
First of all, it is your choice whether you choose to take the time to entertain a person on a different frequency to you.
Remember however, that you cannot change anyone but yourself. Yes you can put your thoughts across to a person but unless they resonate with what you say, you can never change someone's thoughts, feelings or beliefs. The frustration comes then, when a person acts opposite to our own codes and beliefs especially if we deem those as morally just. If these are people who are operating on a frequency of hate, it can be extremely upsetting and frustrating for a person who doesn’t operate on that frequency to experience such. This is why it so important to set your own intention for yourself. Just because someone is operating from a different frequency does not mean you have to do the same.
In fact, these people that do operate from a place of negativity, can be used as examples for how not to live our lives. Anyone who operates from a place of anger or even hate is not someone who practices mindfulness and certainly not a person at peace with themselves. That is a person who cannot communicate their own frustrations or pain and unless they experience a cataclysmic shift in perception they won’t recognize those frustrations in themselves.
We can therefor choose to see them as mirrors and reflect what we wish to see in ourselves.
Listen. Reflect. Set your intention.
Feel free to share this if it resonated with you.
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