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Guest article by Amanda Moore
There comes a time in our lives when we know that change needs to happen. Usually it comes after we’ve been putting it off, finding excuse after excuse to do something else. And when we least expect it we get hit with one thing after another.
These events can be losing a job, going through a break-up, or even something as simple as stubbing your toe — over and over again.
At some point we have a realization that there is something we have to change about our life choices.
This change doesn’t have to be drastic. Sometimes it’s as small as going to sleep 30 minutes earlier to build momentum in your life. It’s the tiny things that matter anyway.
So Where Does Mindfulness Come In?
Some of us are better than others at handling the stress that can follow unexpected events. There may be a few that are naturally good at handling pressure, while others have to practice remaining calm.
A calm mind will often be more successful at remaining calm in stressful situations.
A person with a calm mind will be able to think more freely, create more solutions, and have a better attitude about the situation as a whole. This is where mindfulness comes in.
Mindfulness is the key to self-mastery and living the life you want to live.
How you may ask?
Mindfulness is having awareness of what you are doing, thinking, and saying, all while life is also happening around you. To put it simply: be present in the moment, while allowing the present moment to be.
Most of us go through our day trying to gain some aspect of control over our surroundings.
We want to make sure everyone on the road drives safely so we yell at bad drivers. We want our children to stay safe so we scold them when they get close to hurting themselves.
It’s natural for us to have this type of self-defense mechanism.
It prevents accidents, like a child burning their hand on a hot stove and can create a safe bubble in which we happily live our lives. There comes a time when these natural reactions become ingrained in us though.
We’ve burned ourselves one too many times. We close off a little bit to protect ourselves from being hurt again. When this adds up over time, it’s easy to see how some people are a crankier than others.
What We Can Do for Ourselves
We can practice mindfulness, the art of being in the present moment, alert to life’s happenings.
This starts out difficult, and even more so if you control a lot of things in your life, but it does get easier with time. Often, people overthink being mindful.
How Do You Practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be practiced in many different ways, but mindfulness and yoga has added benefits.
Yoga helps your body to become relaxed and loosened. With a relaxed and loosened body, you begin to notice where your mind has turbulence.
This turbulence can be better understood as the exact moment you stub your toe. You were not mindful of the moment, off in other thoughts, and you received an immediate lesson to learn from.
In order for a yoga practitioner to be successful, they must merge their body and mind as one. The potter must become the pot as they say.
To put it simply, your body will feel tight until your mind has let go of all of the stress it carries. The less stress your mind has, the lighter your body will feel. This continues to build momentum as a lighter body will put less stress on the mind.
Through mindfulness we learn of life’s treasures. We learn of the lessons that have been trying to teach us and of the wonders that life has in store for us.
Life doesn’t improve because tough circumstances refuse to come your way. Those tough situations aren’t labeled tough anymore, they become an opportunity to grow, and eventually a stepping stone on the path to enlightenment.
The beauty of practicing mindfulness is that as you practice it, you’ll understand it more and get better at it. Aim for happiness and you’ll do great!
I want to take the time to thank Amanda Moore for this amazing guest article! Mindfulness is so much more important than we realize. If we cultivate this skill to our advantage, it has the potential to truly change our lives!
How do you use mindfulness in your life? Let me know in the comments below, or connect with me on Facebook!