“The present is the only time that any of us have to be alive—to know anything—to perceive-to learn-to act-to change-to heal.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Why is everyone so obsessed with being mindful these days?
After a tedious day in the office, staring at the computer screen, hunched up like Quasimodo whilst functioning on a mixture of adrenalin and anxiety, I soothingly quietened my mind, focused on my breath and mindfully observed the magnificent red skyline, as the sun was setting. In that very moment, I appreciated how magical mindfulness really is.
I believe bringing awareness to the present moment instills clarity in our being.
It’s amazing what the practice of being mindful can do for our overall health. It’s only when we are aware, of what’s going on internally, that we can manifest it externally. Once identified, we can release whatever emotion it is, that’s causing us pain or distress, instead of using daily distractions like mobile phones, to ignore the root cause of the problem, we can then manage it mindfully.
Feelings are meant to be felt, not ignored.
How many of us are unaware of our internal emotional system? All of the good, the bad and the ugly feelings that we face on a daily bases stem from past memories, the present moment or the future indecisions. Mindfulness allows us to counteract the bad feelings with good ones by taking control of our thoughts, feelings and actions. Our thoughts are not facts. We have a choice to decide how each thought is going to affect us; after all they are just thoughts! With this new found freedom, I found myself contemplating, what is it that has distracted us from the present moment, in the first place and where have these bad habits originated from?
I often observe people walking, in full concentration with their head down and their phone out, not looking where they’re going. Their mind is far from the present moment. Is their possibly a connection between the mobile phone and mindfulness? I feel we have trained our mind to focus on our mobiles and away from the present moment. We’re constantly distracted from what’s right in front of us… Nature. The beautiful sunset, the flock of birds’ flying high in synchronicity, whilst dancing with the final rays of the sun or the cute guy, who has just walked past, trying to catch our eye, for the third time this week. We have become complacent with modern day technology and distracted from daily life. We’re either one step ahead or one step behind; instead of just being, human being! We have become connected to our phones and disconnected from nature.
After I had this realization, I opened my heart to happiness and the flood gates to the present moment; all of the excitement I used to feel as a child came rushing back, it had returned. I felt more familiar with myself, my inner child.
I urge you to stop and look at your environment, put down your phone and be in control of your life choices, once again. How can we rid ourselves of the bad habits, we have unconsciously adopted? How can we replace them with new, glorious and righteous good habits? By bringing our awareness to the present moment we can consciously adopt healthy life choices.
Yes we’re going to make mistakes as we’re constantly learning. If something isn’t working, change it; reverse the obstruction.
I’ve started to learn new tangible and manageable habits. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend longer than I should on my phone: messaging friends, making arrangements, sharing love and kindness. But I have started to question the amount of time it takes, all of those mini breaks, lessons in procrastination.
Rather than spending time texting each other all night, wouldn’t it just be easier to pick up the phone and talk? Or leave the messages’ purely to make arrangements, to meet in the present? If the person whom we’re texting doesn’t warrant that face to face meeting, why waste our delicious time in the first place? Time is precious and if we’re fortunate to be here reading this article, then why not be fortunate to make the most of our time, by doing good things for ourselves, things that help the mind.
Let us adapt to the mindful way of life, once more. Once you establish what makes your mind happy, by being present, you will automatically want more of it. If we’re mindful enough to know when we’re around negativity then we can distance ourselves from them feelings by not inviting them in. I have found a mindfulness meditation every morning and evening helps me restore equilibrium by connecting with my inner-self, that inner-self that I have replaced with someone else, that someone else, who is on the other end of the phone. I check in with myself and see if I have neglected myself in any way, throughout the day!
Is it time we realized the entrapment that we have found ourselves in? Are we distracting ourselves from the beauty of life, where happiness is found and not bought? Are we living and breathing through each experience or are we too engaged with our mobile phone? Are we living for the next moment, instead of the present moment? Is it time for a wakeup call?
A wake-up call for us to look up at the big blue sky, instead of down at the screen of our mobile phone!
Let’s move forward with fresh determinations, even if it’s just starting small e.g. not messaging people back straight away thus taking control back, into the present. Try giving friends and family your work number, instead of relying on your mobile phone. If you are off to attend an engagement, does the mobile phone have to accompany you? Can you devote your whole evening, solely to what’s in front of you, in the flesh?
Is it time that we started taking control back into our lives and inviting the present moment to join us?
Let’s start to embrace each day as if it were our last, saluting to the magnificent new sunrise, each morning.
Let’s be thankful, let’s be mindful.
Author: Samantha Jayne Hodgson
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Matthew G at Flickr