Liberation of one’s mind, body and spirit, can be achieved through a simple and beautiful inner resource: Mindfulness. By actively pursuing mindfulness daily, one can reach an eternal level of both personal and external understanding. Once one’s mind has been opened to it, change almost becomes effortless. It’s like discovering a light bulb, which, once turned on, stays illuminated.
Mindfulness, a form of meditation, has an array of proven health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing overall arousal and emotional reactivity. It is not so much about doing something, rather it is about being immersed in a state of awareness to your thoughts and body’s senses. As a mental discipline, it teaches us to focus on the things most useful and helpful in our lives, to enable us live more consciously and fully. As Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the acclaimed Mindfulness Stress Based reduction program says, mindfulness is about “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”.
It has the capacity to transform our way of being from mindless into mind-full. Mindfulness connects us to the two worlds in which we reside: our inside world and the outside world. It is ideal for cultivating greater awareness of the oneness of mind and body. This helps to identify unconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviors that may undermine emotional or physical health. An empowering way to calm the mind, mindfulness practice reduces stress and distress, which in turn opens a pathway to greater creativity, productivity and contentment.
The secret to attaining mindfulness’s full health benefits is through regular daily practice, where gradually the focus shifts from an intermittent feature in your life, to a lens to view the world. As mind-full-ness is holistically integrated into every aspect of our core being, we begin to live, breathe and think mind-fully. It illuminates the brightness, providing enhanced clarity on whatever the mind focuses on, even if strange as it may seem, that is nothing at all.
Starting with just 10-15 minutes and building up to 30-45 minutes, you begin training your attention to stay with the breath, your thoughts, or by simply choosing an object to focus your attention on. It’s akin to tuning in with a fine pitchfork to all five senses, where one by one, they all come alive; sense, smell, touch, taste, sound and extending to a non-sense, our thoughts. Mini-awakenings, transforming what often feels like our one-dimensional lives, to really experience life in the full three dimensions, and perhaps into another dimension entirely.
Anything can be done mindfully, whether it is paying attention to your breath, time spent eating, or even just dedicating time to being ‘unplugged’. A mindful outlook adds value and breadth to conversations with friends, families or colleagues, to an embrace with our parents, partner or children. So the next time you’re having a conversation with someone, focus on being really attentive and present, not just semi-tuned in. Try to ensure you are not half listening out for text messages, emails, or even a passerby who may steel your attention away. Really listen and tune in to what the other person is saying, their body language, and their level of connection with you. Note how enriching this is. Often it can feel like a conversation with a totally different person, and that different person might just be you.
Living mindfully has the potent ability to bring out the extraordinary in ordinary, the meaning that often gets dismissed in the seemingly meaningless, and an opportunity to reconnect from the fragmented disconnect that one often feels. It’s about a uniquely ‘time in’ focus, resulting in a ‘time out’ feeling where one is instantly transformed from a human doing to a human being. Just being 100 percent present in your own life.
A new world is dawning, and it’s yours.
In love and laughter,