Mindfulness living is a process that you engage in to become more conscious of your thoughts, feelings, and actions and how they impact you, others, and your life. It is about responding in the moment vs reacting. Ultimately, being mindful is about taking responsibility for creating your life.
When you hear the word “responsibility”, does it trigger fear and trepidation? Why is that? Some clients admitted they were afraid of making the wrong decision, or hurting another person so they find it easier to withdraw and allow life or another person to make the decisions for them. While others would resist making a decision or commitment in life for fear of losing a part of themselves. I would encourage you to examine your own reasons for not leading a responsible life. This exercise in itself will lead you to a place of becoming even more conscious.
It takes practice to be mindful and develop a habit that would lead you to live life consciously. Here are some exercises that you can engage in, in whatever capacity that you desire. You can spend 5 minutes a day, or however length of time you choose:
- Breathing: become aware of your breath, and how it flows in and out your body; focus on where the breath is sourced … spending 20 minutes a day on this particular exercise can calm your mind and put you in a peaceful state;
- Eating: become aware of what you are choosing to eat; then take it a step further and start to focus on all the parts of your body that are involved in the eating process (from the arm that is connected to the utensil, to bringing it to your mouth, chewing, swallowing, digesting, etc.); what thoughts are you having as you eat?; what emotions are you feeling?;
- Walking: focus on the processes involved in walking as well as the body parts that are involved – e.g., are your arms moving as you walk?; what thoughts are you having as you walk?; what emotions are you feeling?;
- Listening: focus on the person who is talking and become aware of whether you are truly listening, or is your attention split – e.g., are you listening with your entire being, or are you thinking about how you would respond to them after they finished talking?; are you listening while your mind is judging what they are saying?
The important element of these exercises is to be in the moment with yourself in that particular activity without judging your experience or making it be different than what it is. Being present no matter where you are, who you are with, and whatever activity you’re engaged in brings light to the circumstances and frees you from living a fragmented life.
So, have fun with these exercises and recognize that the desire to life a mindful life, is the desire to treat one’s self with love, compassion and forgiveness. It is from this place that living consciously can continue to evolve. Without that longing, living mindfully can quickly fall away, as distractions creep back into our lives. It is a process to get in touch with what is going on inside of you, so give yourself a chance to find that place where pure unadulterated feeling is birthed. From there, inspiration to take conscious action will follow.