August 24, 2013

What the Hell is Mindfulness Anyways?

I think it’s pretty apparent by now that elephant journal strives to share the mindful life—so what the hell does that mean anyways?

First of all, I won’t even begin to pretend that I’m writing this article on elephant journal’s behalf because, obviously, Waylon Lewis is perfectly capable of mindfully articulating himself and this mission better than I ever could.

Yet, for another, I also won’t pretend that what’s mindful to me is mindful to everyone else.

So let’s take a look at what mindfulness means—well, to this author at least.

Mindfulness looks a lot like appreciating every single bite of food that you place onto your tongue.

It sometimes looks like the stream of consciousness that flows out of a newly broken heart.

Occasionally, it resembles an article where the usage of shit instead of shoot is merited (or hell rather than heck).

Being mindful means being realistic about the weight of the celebrity voice in our increasingly media-saturated society.

And here’s what this mindful life rarely means:

I don’t think it—generally speaking, of course—looks like arrogance and conceit.

What is mindful to me might not be mindful to you because, perhaps, you might be a vegan, whereas I, at this moment in my life, put my stock in consuming only what my body needs; and then, from as many local and organic sources and farms as I can find it.

Mindful to you might be the concept of Buddhism or Christianity and, while I love and respect all religions, at this place on my path, I don’t want it in my daily life.

So I guess what it boils down to is that being mindful means exactly what it sounds like: you are thoughtfully analyzing both yourself and the world around you and then you’re making choices that benefit our world in its entirety to the best of your waking ability and knowledge—and you’re seeking out sites like elephant journal to increase this awareness.

You work hard at whatever you choose to do for a living.

You dream big and you then, mindfully, place one foot in front of the other on a patient and much smaller course.

You know that your kindness ripples out, and that your anger does too, so you try to use both at their appropriate times.

And maybe you think that there isn’t a masculine enough voice in this particular (mindful) community, and if you do then I would strongly urge you to, ahem, be a man and step up and share your own thoughts via article (because women also appreciate a communicative man and other men might be able to see themselves within your words).

And that’s the truly great part about elephant journal: it’s a community, not a dictatorship.

So, then, what the hell is mindfulness?

I guess that to some of us, on days when we’re feeling blue in the heart, it, thankfully, looks like animals on trampolines, but then on other days when you’re fired up and ready to go it looks like avoiding sweatshop purchases at all costs.

Because mindfulness is only as useful as the people behind it.

“Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.” ~ Mark Twain

Like The Mindful Life on Facebook.

Ed: Sara Crolick 

{Photo: via auburnscs on pinterest}


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