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November 29, 2014

How to Practice Mindfulness & Make Friends with Ourselves.

Jogging_Woman_in_Grass

When we are not being present and stuck being “busy” we get overwhelmed with thought; we start to get caught up in expectation and secondary intent.

We also experience lots of expectation, then what happens is when things don’t happen as we plan we get disappointment, then we feel sad, annoyed or dis-empowered.

When this happens we stop being able to live freely and create deliberately and instead are at the mercy and whim of our mind and subconscious programming, beliefs, patterns and external behaviors. It can become overwhelming for some. For many others it’s just the dominant modus operandi.

However the good news is we can turn this around with observation and focus.

To do so, do whatever it is that clears your mind the best; it’s about breaking the state and shifting your perspective, clearing your head and making room for new ways of thinking and being.

To demonstrate how we can do this I will share what works for me. I find the most effective way to turn my runaway-train-mind around and clear my head is running in the park. This really clears the cobwebs and shifts those stinky thoughts quick!

Running inside just doesn’t do what getting outdoors does for me. It really helps expand my mind by being in big open space. While I am out I will walk/run on the grass and find some trees or a pond or anything really calming, and either walk through them or sit there for a while and then carry on running.

I start to get really present by tuning in to the environment. The benefits of actually interacting with nature is far undervalued; simply walking barefoot on the grass or touching plants renews your energy, and calms the nervous system.

I listen to the sound of the wind, and I feel the texture of the bark, I observe the ripple of the water and the color of the leaves; I see whatever natural stimuli is around me, and I quietly observe it all.
The same can be done at the beach or in the bush too; either way this frees up lots of energy. (Try it!)

This is the moment you want to bring yourself into stillness and really focus on being present. What helps you to do that is to take some big deep breaths while saying to yourself, “I accept, I allow and I
release [insert thing here],” and say it over and over until the stinky thoughts start to weaken their hold on your consciousness.

This allows you to release what is stuck in your mind (it even helps release things from your unconscious), and it acts like a mantra for your mind to focus on, so you can clear your head and regain control of your thoughts.

The added benefit of doing this outside, and doing exercise while you practice, is you boost serotonin levels, lower stress, increase your fitness, and get some Vitamin D, all at once!

Even better, if you have children or pets, engage with them! They are masters of fun, joy and living in the present. I don’t think of anything when I am playing with animals or children. I am just fully
present with them enjoying the moment. We can learn a lot more from them!

The point is that allowing yourself to become really present in the moment gives you calmness and clarity, and this, in essence, is mindfulness.

When you focus so intently on the present moment, you are able to let go easier of whatever is blocking you at that time, and it seems to make the past and future disappear. Living in the past creates depression, and living in the future creates anxiety. You can easily diagnose yourself to see where you are living right now.

So practice focusing on the present moment; relax into it and allow space for your own knowing to come through and this allows you to reconnect with yourself.

From here it’s a natural and easier progression to shift into listening to yourself.

Then it’s just a step from there to making your intuition stronger by continuing to listen to yourself and learning to actually heed the advice and do what’s right for you.

When you live and act deliberately and do everything with clear intention, this gives you greater personal power within yourself.

When you practice doing what is right for you, and you practice living with intent and allowing space for your own knowing, you automatically want to put yourself first.

I don’t mean in a selfish way but in the way that says, “I am important; I love and respect myself enough to put me first; I will listen to myself and honour what is right for me.”

That is taking self-responsibility, and that is the end goal my friends.

 

 

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Author: Amanda Jeffs

Editor:  Travis May

Photo: Wikipedia

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