Did you ever notice that there are certain people who we just enjoy having conversations with simply because they actually listen to the things we have to say. People who practice this fine art of conversation whether they realize it or not are practicing something called mindfulness.
Did you ever notice that when you are fully immersed in a project you are working on and when you look up at the clock hours have seems to passed by your are in the flow which is also another state of mindfulness.
Mindfullness is a state of being here and now by not allowing other distraction to come into play in our minds. There are so many times in my life when I just can’t shut down all of the passing thoughts in my mind. It get’s to a point where they really becomes more of distraction than anything else. I also notice that during these states of chattering thoughts going through my mind it is easy to makes a mistake.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon taking a course on Lynda.com called Mindfulness taught by John Ullman. I learned a great deal about this thing we call mindfulness and how I can practice it on a daily basis to improve just about every aspect of my life.
I learned that all I have to do is notice the state I am in, acknowledge these thoughts and start concentrating on the breaths that I take. Breath in, breath out. Breath in, breath out. And allow those thoughts to pass. Then get back to the task at hand.
We are pretty much programmed with many of these thoughts that pass through our minds and many are lesson we either learned, or rules we created in our minds through the process of growing up. There are times when we are justified in feeling fear like walking down a dark alley at night, but most of the fear we feel each day is unjustified and if repeated can cause much stress and even physical harm over the long run. By simply noticing these feelings of fear as they arise and really thinking about what is going on in our minds and figuring out where this fear is actually coming from we usually learn that it is something related to a particular time in our past where we experienced an uncomfortable or even embarrassing situation. Our mind tries to protect us from feeling this way again.
When we learn to turn off these passing thoughts and really start to notice everything that is around us we can truly get centered in the moment.
Meditation being the final step in mindfulness is acquired by sitting, concentrated breathing and staying in the now. Future thoughts and past thoughts are simply allowed to flow as we observe them from the outside like watching a waterfall. We can see the water flowing but we are not a part of the flow.
I have decided to make mindfulness a part of my life each day and will strive to start noticing the patterns of my thoughts. I want to send out thoughts and words of love and compassion rather than those of hate and negativity. I want to learn to find joy in every aspect of my life not just the one’s I believe I have control over. Where ever I go there I am and I am sure that there are glorious things to take notice of.