I’m thrilled that mindfulness has hit the mainstream, that it’s making its way not only into our lexicons, but into our practices as well. It may feel like a slow trickle to some of us, but the wave of consciousness is among us. And I couldn’t be more pleased.
There is talk of consciousness in business, consciousness in education and even consciousness in politics, all things that will definitely need a lot of, well, practice. Yet the rules of the game are changing, and in such, it’s becoming more and more evident who’s not playing nice.
What is mindfulness exactly? (In case the memo hasn’t come across your desk.)
Mindfulness is present moment conscious awareness.
To take it a step further, mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.
And that’s why they call it a practice, my friend.
It’s contradictory in that it sounds like a mouth full, but can be rather simple.
The only problem–I don’t know if you’ve noticed–we are not overly simple beings.
In fact, we are highly complicated, complex creatures at the whim of long embedded unconscious habits, thought patterns and behaviors. We have minds/brains that mirror the universe not just in their intricate nature and vast potential, but also in our limited understanding (the more we learn the more we realize how little we know).
So how can we tackle our very own biologically sophisticated selves?
We pay attention.
We pay attention to what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We question our motives. We follow our reactions and responses. We call bullshit on our excuses. We eavesdrop on our thoughts. We think before speaking and pause before doing. We listen to our gut and hone our intuition. We hover in the here and now as opposed to the past and future. We get comfortable with the unknown and settle into the very is-ness of the present.
And in so doing, we become better versions of ourselves by the moment.
Meditation without mindfulness is like going to the gym and then eating a crappy diet, or like going to church on Sundays and then being a jerk all week.
Mindfulness without meditation is like eating healthy and going to the gym, but not ever taking classes or getting a trainer.
In my opinion, meditation (even only 5 min a day) is the clincher for the full package: mind, body, soul.
The space you give yourself in that five minutes is an open invitation for abundance. It is laying out the welcome mat for the universe. “I’m ready. I want to learn.”
No doubt it takes guts. All of this.
Seeing yourself like this. I mean really seeing yourself. Every ugly little line, wrinkle and blemish, metaphorically speaking, of course. And to see it with compassion and love and tenderness.
Just think if we were kinder and more compassionate and less critical of ourselves how that might change how we treat/think about/impact others.
It starts with just a few people, yet the effect is exponential.
The ultimate goal: a more conscious planet.
Despite the naysayers, I’m optimistic we’re heading that way.
I leave you with this: Have you ever tried flossing your teeth mindfully? showering mindfully? eating mindfully? Pick one. Try it out. It’s mind blowing.
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!