WHAT EXACTLY IS MINDFULNESS?
Updated: Jan 4
I used to think that mindfulness was a constant state of enlightenment and bliss and the only way to achieve it was to meditate.
Like many people, I mindlessly lived on autopilot for years. I would awaken in stressful circumstances like heartbreak, dealing with a difficult boss or losing my job and turn to yoga and meditation to feel better, but I would eventually return to my slumber.
Then I turned 40 and had a midlife awakening. I woke up in a way that I never had before wanting to be more in control of my life, how I felt and how it turned out.
I knew that meditation was extremely powerful in relieving stress, anxiety and depression, but I didn’t think it was for me. I could never stay present for long before my thoughts would take over or I would just fall asleep while meditating. I also had a full-time job and a toddler so I didn’t think it was realistic to have a consistent practice.
Then I found a practical and powerful way of being mindful, without meditating, and realized I had it all wrong. Mindfulness isn’t about clearing your mind of your thoughts, it’s about becoming aware of them, with curiosity instead of reactivity. And doing this everyday is as beneficial as meditating.
It requires you to become aware of and accept your self-critical and self-loathing thoughts and your intense feelings of sadness or anxiety so you can actively change your negative thought patterns and feel better, for good.
Here’s the thing: your thoughts, feelings and actions all work together to create the results in your life. The more conscious your mind, the more conscious your actions and results.
I think enlightenment is when you truly understand this and take full responsibility for how you think and feel, how you show up and the results you create in all areas of your life.
And the space between your thoughts and feelings and your reaction to them is where you find relief, presence and awareness of how powerful and worthy you really are.
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