This post provides an in-depth look at mindfulness and why it’s essential. It is one of many practices that help you be aware of the present moment. To that end, you will learn how to use mindfulness to expand your consciousness, improve health and reduce stress.
What is mindfulness?
At first glance, the word mindful implies that the mind is ‘full’ of something. Whereas, the actual pointer and meaning of the term is quite the opposite. The essence of mindfulness points towards finding a space within. In other words, an empty, open place where you can observe. The heart of any practice or technique is to begin this process.
Your mind is a great tool when used in the right way. However, if you don’t use it wisely, it can be destructive to yourself, others and the world. The truth is that you rarely use your mind at all. On the contrary, most of the time, it uses you.
As long as the mind controls you, you live an imbalanced life. The main reason for this is because too much thought clouds your ability to make clear decisions. If you are not aware of something, how can you use it responsibly?
In your being, you have several points of intellect. These consist of your brain, heart and life intuition. Your brain often says one thing, the heart says another and your life also provides a point of view. Without an open space within, it’s easy to be pulled around by either of these factors.
The conflict between your head, heart and lifestream can cause lots of confusion. Being conscious of these elements allows you also to note the open space between them and your mind. Subsequently, you can allow each one to speak its voice while you listen and observe. In essence, you do not lose yourself to any of these influences.
From here, you can consider all factors in an observant manner and make a decision based on wisdom.
Why are there so many practices and techniques?
The journey of waking up from the mind begins with a feeling of entering the unknown. This is the very nature of space which can feel quite intimidating at first. For this reason, when you start the journey of waking up from the mind, you may initially require some support.
At this point, techniques are beneficial for a short while and act as ways to help you grow more alert.
The process is similar to learning a new skill such as swimming. To begin with, you learn to swim by using support floats and props. As your confidence and skills get better, you gradually use them less. In time, with continued practice, you can let go of all supports and swim with ease.
If you apply this example to linking with your inner space, you can see how techniques can help. For the most part, by building your level of inner stability. Once this foundation is strong, you can let go of all methods and rest in your space. This opens you up to new insights and intelligence that flow into your life.
Each person varies in what they prefer and their ability. Therefore, it’s not practical to have a single ‘one size fits all’ method. Hence why there are so many different techniques. All practices point toward the goal of building steadiness within so you can allow yourself to let go when ready. Try several methods and pick the one that you find the simplest to practice.
How do you practice mindfulness?
Building firm neural links by repeating actions is what builds much of the mind’s network. With all things considered, this is why there is a tendency to follow systems, structures and routines. The approach toward these is often very strict and disciplined.
In truth, you do not need to be rigid in any way to align with your inner wholeness. Establishing this link is very simple, and the process soon takes on its own growth within you. It’s almost like planting a seed in the ground. Once the seed is planted in the right environment, it begins to grow into a strong tree. Or to put it another way, all methods help you become more tuned in to your true nature.
If sitting still in one place does not suit you, there is no need to do it. Instead, you can try being more mindful in your daily routine. If you can take note of and feel your surroundings, you have the ability to be privy to your mind.
One way to do this is to be very alert during any daily activity like walking up the stairs. During this activity, notice how your feet feel as they touch the ground. Draw your attention to the tendons, muscles and joints as they move. Explore these feelings as deeply as you wish.
You can also do this while being outdoors or in nature. Pay attention to the flow of air and weather as well as the sound of wildlife. Use your senses fully and feel the sensation of being outdoors.
There is no limit as to how or where you practice mindfulness. See if you can integrate it into the activities you enjoy.
How does mindfulness make you more light, present and aware?
Being more mindful teaches you the simple skill of being more conscious. As you learn this, it soon becomes easy, effortless and natural. On the whole, you begin to shine the light within and turn attention to yourself.
To illustrate this point, imagine turning on a lamp in a dark room. At first, it reveals objects and baggage that you didn’t know you had. In the same way, as you become more aware, you clearly notice your thoughts, emotions and feelings. At this point, it is easy to see how these factors have impacted you. To a great degree with regard to your personal life, health, work and environment.
Observing these factors is enough to start the process of moving toward a more balanced life. Anything that does not resonate with you is easy to see and feel. As you reach this level of knowledge, you can take aligned actions to make changes. This comes by tuning in to your wisdom and space. Overall, you become the master of both your life and mind.
Is higher awareness, peace and health for everyone? Or just a selected few?
Without a doubt, being more in tune with yourself is the foundation of good health and a sound mind.
Many assume that this state is for only a select few such as celebrities, gurus, sages, prophets, and saints. Observe how the media, myths and religions back this belief. As a result, this can drive the idea that knowledge, health, and peace are only for a few gifted people. While it may be true that many people like this are highly conscious, it’s not a state exclusive to them.
The truth is that peace, health and a balanced life are your birthrights. Not just for you, or a selected few but for everyone. You only have to become informed of your mind and being. Soon enough, this shines within you and transforms your life. For this purpose, you become a light to the world.
Parmentier, F.B.R., García-Toro, M., García-Campayo, J., Yañez, A.M., Andrés, P., and Gili, M. (2019). Mindfulness, Symptoms of Depression, and Anxiety in the General Population. The Mediating Roles of Worry, Rumination, Reappraisal, and Suppression. Frontiers in Psychology, 10.
Powell, A. (2018). Harvard researchers study how mindfulness may change the brain in depressed patients. [online] Harvard Gazette. Available at: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/harvard-researchers-study-how-mindfulness-may-change-the-brain-in-depressed-patients/.