This blog today, is the introduction to a 6-part series on mindfulness for beginners, however even if you are an experienced meditator you can still follow as we go along with the practice of mindfulness. If you are committed to making a difference to your life, I suggest you stick around until the end to see how you can make that start.
Do you have a racing mind or difficulties falling/staying asleep, would you like more passion and drive in your life?
There are so many questions I could ask to see if mindfulness may work for you and you will probably answer yes to at least one of the questions I ask so let’s just cut to the chase. Mindfulness has been tried and tested within countless areas and communities for over thousands of years and it has been shown to improve upon the lives of those who practice it. It’s something most of us can all do and can work for pretty much anyone.
What is mindfulness? To simply put it, it is being present in the now. Whether you’re sitting in a mindfulness meditation, eyes closed, hands in mudra or you’re watching a bird sitting on the branch of a eucalyptus tree grooming its wings. It’s having your whole focus on the very moment in which you exist right here and now. It’s connecting with what you see, feel, hear, smell, touch, taste and sense.
These are just some of the benefits you can gain from practicing mindfulness regularly.
Physical benefits of Mindfulness:
Improved sleep patterns
Decrease in physical tension
Relaxed and calm body
Improvement in blood pressure
Increased energy levels
Increased feelings of vitality
A change in the immune system
Mental benefits of Mindfulness:
Improved concentration and focus
Improved learning and sharper memory
Enhanced common sense
A deeper sense of inner strength
Ability to deal effectively with tasks, people and circumstances
Emotional benefits of Mindfulness:
Ability to stay calm in stressful situations
Less worrying and anxiety
A sense of happiness fills your mind and awareness
A stronger sense of self-confidence
Improved control of your feelings and reactions
You experience less nervousness, irritability and moodiness
Spiritual benefits of Mindfulness:
A sense of inner peace
Attaining self-realization and spiritual awakening
Greater connection to your Divine power
A heightened awareness of your inner self
A sense of oneness
Connection with self, others and the earth
When you practice mindfulness, you are not only improving upon your physical health but also your mental, emotional and spiritual state of being.
Many people aren’t actually aware that they are mindful at different points of the day if only for a brief moment. it could be when washing up, digging in the garden or perhaps it’s when you hear an air con or fish filter turn off after being noisy for so long. It’s that moment where you’re not lost in thought or a story about what happened the other day and who needs to do what.
The opposite can be said about the many who are so busy within their own minds and distracted by the outputs of society that they assume they are this busy in life also, and let’s face it we all get distracted, and many of us are very busy in life, overly busy but not as busy as we sometimes think.
Unfortunately, most people in society will have some form of childhood trauma or disfunction being passed down from generation to generation. It can be difficult growing up to make sense of the world and if you don’t have a safe space to open dialogue and unpack the ramblings of the mind, a person can feel like they are going down a rabbit hole of no return.
With limited mainstream educational offerings of mindfulness within the Western culture teaching what should be the very foundations to life, many people find other coping mechanisms for dealing with daily stress and an overactive mind. However, these are short term fixes that can be even more detrimental to our overall health and wellbeing when over used for long periods. What I’m talking about here is not being able to sit and deal with the stuff that arises. The feelings of frustration, boredom, guilt, shame or the nothingness that exists within because we have numbed ourselves for so long. We grab our phone to check msgs or listen out for the constant ping of notifications that comes up on the phone, we grab a drink or light up a cigarette or watch yet another Netflix series.
We as the people aren’t the ones who thrive by constantly distracting ourselves. By submitting to this lifestyle, we continue to hand our lives over to the system which is indeed broken rather than grow to be free thinking spiritual beings. It us up to us as the individual to take our power back and learn to deal in a world that is run by power and greed and can be harsh and cold. We can find love and so much more and mindfulness is just one way to rediscover this.
When we make more space within our minds and distract ourselves less, our lives also become more spacious. We all of a sudden have more time to do the things we love and if we don’t know what that is, practicing mindfulness will be that way to discover new passions.
Whilst I definitely understand the expectations of society, making it more difficult to live with the pressures arising. I also recognize that it is also our perception of time that causes us to lose sight, often being stuck in the past or a time in the future when the time is actually NOW.
The question now becomes, are you willing to make the commitment in trying something that may just break you free of the confines of your mind? I’m here to tell you that regular practice of mindfulness can change your life but it also takes hard work and dedication to sit mindfully with the stuff that arises on a regular basis.
If you’re only listening and watching without wanting to take action at this stage, I hope I have at least planted a seed of possibilities within you. If you would really like to make effective change then I ask that you make a commitment right here and now. Over the course of the next six fortnights I will be uploading a short mindfulness meditation covering the basics of how to sit with present moment.
For those of you making a commitment to yourself, here is your self-inquiry task:
Throughout your day whenever you remember, bring your attention to present moment and ask yourself the following questions:
· Are you thinking in the past, present or future?
· Are your thoughts positive, negative or perhaps neutral?
· Are they necessary for you to live your life accordingly or are they wasteful?
· How does your body respond, do you notice that your body tenses when thinking about a situation you are not happy about etc?
At the end of each day give yourself 5-10 minutes to journal your findings in a notepad/sheet of paper etc adding as much information as you have TIME to do. Then take a moment to meditate on it, sit on it, just reflect on those thoughts you noticed with compassion for self and definitely without judgment. Continue this daily over the next fortnight.
The aim is to become self-aware in the moment so you can change the things you no longer want in your life as they arise and start to introduce the things you do want in your life.
I hope that you join me again for the next mindfulness vlog in this series next fortnight.