I’ve written before about mindfulness, how I was introduced to it and then…life happened. There it was: one curious mind, me, that wanted to make peace with her duality. In a nutshell: the everlasting question of finding balance between life, work, spiritual pursuits and keeping the fire of creativity and curiosity alive, has been on my plate for sometime now. What I’ve learnt: you can combine many things but a break to absorb the experience, reflect on the process is a must.
A dear soul from the past, revisited me; it was a blessing; as it turns out the bottom line was clear- mindful living. A stark reminder that was necessary to look at more carefully.
What is mindful living?
The beauty of life is that it has a perfect shape: a cycle. We live in cycles, that are ever so interchangeable, sometimes they lap and voilà, if you keep your eyes and heart open, it’s clear to see they are wonderful signals to bring you back to balance or even be a great chance to help you move forward. Ride the wave of life!
To me, mindful living is when we allow our soul, mind and spirit to align; it’s the time when we feel truly ourselves and get great satisfaction from being truly ourselves. No comparisons to those around us, no criticism, no guilt, no anger, no remorse. Only self-love, self-acceptance, self-respect, self-expression.
Mindful living is clarity of where we are; in fact, embracing fully, unconditionally where we are, and being aware of what is our intention to keep us rooted in the present moment. I’ve been guilty of getting stuck between the past, the present and the future. I’ve been guilty of demanding more of myself, of this insatiable urge to do more, to give more, to know more… For a little while, you may be driven to achieve your goals. It may work, for a while. Then it might be that exhaustion, physical and mental knocks on your door and you don’t want to answer. How exhausting is it to force your whole being to wear all these hats (mother/lover/business woman/best friend…) and when you get caught up with the moment, it’s so hard to let go?
Andy Puddicombe, asks this simple question: “Have you ever tried to do nothing?” A question to not take lightly… Just think when it was the last time you did absolutely nothing and you felt good for doing so.
Recently, in one of my wonderful acupuncture sessions I mentioned the feeling of being drawn into a whirlpool, here it is again, circular shape, that was hard to escape sometimes. After leaving the practice, all relaxed, it was very clear to me: people want to break free from the old pattern they use to lead their life but it’s so hard. Why? The more we resist, the deeper we fall in old habits, fears or any other negative emotions that keep us captives.
How to let go?
It’s not actually about letting go, it’s more about understanding and accepting the feelings, emotions that shape our reality. A cloud-free thinking, if you will. And to do that, all we need is a gentle process to bring us to complete stillness.
Back to this friend from the past: she mentioned how mindfulness helps her cope with her own challenging moments in life. She mentioned a free mindfulness course that is accessible via smart phone and I got curious!
Here’s my (Christmas) gift to you: if you want to see how it feels to be still, break free from nagging thoughts, then try Headspace; an app with simple, guided mindful meditation sessions.
Where can Mindfulness be applied?
Mindfulness is an awesome clarity enhancer: imagine where clarity can be applied. Anywhere! Personally, I’m intrigued and curious to explore ways in which mindfulness and learning can be combined. Learning is an intrinsic experience; knowledge is more than just information that we have to retain for the rest of our lives; or if not used then forgotten. Learning is all about involving all of our senses instead of consuming ourselves in an effort to memorise what’s necessary to carry on, complete our tasks, whatever these might be and then forget what we’ve learnt in the first place.
Instead, remember when you had absolute clarity and a calm mind: how receptive you were to retain knowledge. And remember how it felt to learn at that moment. Learning besides productive should be fun, mind and soul stimulating.
If you have been also curious in mindful learning, it would be an absolute pleasure to contact me and exchange ideas, resources and material.
I leave you with a soulful TEDx talk by the creator of Headspace, Andy:
Much love & gratitude
Vera, The Curious Mind