Mindfulness and How to be Present
It might sound like an odd question, but when was the last time you practiced mindfulness and took a moment to be fully present? I notice so many people, young and old, glued to their phones instead of engaging in the world around them. As a society, I think it’s a behavior we all detest, yet we’re all so guilty of it. In this post, we’ll take a look at what mindfulness means and discover how to be present.
How did we go from stopping to smell the roses to tuning out the world around us? Our lives are so fast-paced that we’ve developed a sort of tunnel vision that only has us focused on a short term self-gratifying outcome. Case in point, our phones provide non-stop self-gratification whether it’s through social media, texting, playing games or keeping up with work on the go.
We’re so driven to make sure every outcome is in our favor that we forget to be mindful. What does being mindful mean? It’s your self-awareness in the present. You know where you are, what you’re doing and have no opinions or judgment of what’s happening. When you’re mindful, you’re appreciating every moment, not just the final result.
For experts in meditation, this state of awareness is nothing new. Being mindful comes from the technique known as mindfulness. The art of mindfulness is the practice of creating space for ourselves. We use this space to think, breathe and separate ourselves from our reactions. It’s a misconception that the goal is to achieve inner bliss or happiness. Also, you’re not shutting down your mind or focusing on one thing.
Your mind can wander freely, but your judgments and criticisms cannot. Perhaps the hardest part of mindfulness is diffusing all judgmental thoughts including the ones we have of ourselves. As your mind wanders, you want to return your attention again and again to the present moment focusing on your breath. Practicing mindfulness regularly can reduce stress, enhance performance, help you gain valuable insight through self-awareness and help you be more attentive to others.
Even if you don’t take the time to meditate, you can still be mindful. Take the time to truly take in your life. When you open your bag and pull out your lipgloss, really take in the moment. Realize the little moments add up to what your life is about. Being present in the moment has so many benefits and chances are, you fly right by them everyday. It allows you to detach from what already happened as well as let go of being anxious about the future. More importantly, it allows you to hear your soul and what your intuition is telling you to do.
Practicing mindfulness, you’re creating a safe space between yourself and influencing reactions. Being mindful, you’re doing the same except you’re creating that space between your soul and the noisy demands of the world. With this self-awareness, it’s the perfect time to make decisions that align with your True North.
Our actions have an impact and our choices matter. What we do in the world has a ripple effect, it can be positive or negative. I want you to take a moment and think about the following questions: What choices will you make to be present? Will you see that peaceful time to yourself as an opportunity to really listen to your soul, or will you look to your phone for distraction?
Where will you spend your time? Think of how often we are somewhere physically but not mentally. Will you choose to live in the moment of that work meeting you really don’t want to be in but learn something important, or will you daydream about your weekend plans?
How will you show up to life? Will you choose to be mindful, appreciating those small moments and showing your awareness of others, or will you pass them by desperately getting from point A to point B?
Will you take the time to be fully present in this moment?
With all my soul,