Webster’s Dictionary defines Mindfulness as: “Having in mind; aware.”
The Google for Mindfulness says:
1.the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2.a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Your choices are clear: Get on that spinning merry-go-round and keep going until you drop from fatigue, OR STOP, BREATHE, Prioritize, figure out what is number one, do that, and then move on to number two. Anything else leads to insanity and ill health.
Besides, it does not work very well if you just jump on and keep going. Even Type A personalities get tired.
Meditation is taught in so many forms these days. If you need a quiet mind to function at your optimum level (and most people do), even a few moments in the morning before you begin your day is enough. Beauty is everywhere around us. Look for it. Take a few seconds to enjoy it. It just takes Focus and Awareness.
When the tempo of the dance of your life picks up to a pace where you can no longer keep your rhythm, something has to change. You just have to decide what that is. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Is it the Christmas Spirit or the Spirit of Christmas? Good question. The answer lies either between your ears or in your heart.
If it lies between your ears, your mind will say, “There is no difference – it is the same thing.”
Your heart will reply quite the opposite, however.
Christmas Spirit defined can include everything from the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to Christmas Cards to gift giving to one and all. It can include stress caused by many sources, exhaustion from too much to do and too little time to complete tasks, the lack of money, etc. It can be an endless array of Christmas parties and too little sleep. It can be Christmas gifts put on display in the stores before Halloween and reminders of how many days until Christmas signs everywhere. It can be holiday music, lights, trees, and tinsel every time you look around. Yes, it can be all those things and more, positive and negative, bright and festive, cheap and elegant side by side.
But when you look at the Spirit of Christmas with your heart, you may find many surprises, one of which is the ability to see Beauty in your surroundings. That is because one is aware of time passing, along with a sense of peacefulness (like when floating on an inner tube on a lazy river).
If you are feeling rushed and filled with angst, slow down and take several deep breaths. Focus on just one thing at a time instead of a litany of tasks. Make a list of the tasks and choose just one, get it done, and then move on. Multi-tasking is a possibility if you still focus on just one object, like a person who is spinning plates on top of wooden dowels – touching one plate at a time to keep it spinning.
The Spirit of Christmas is not limited to a specific time frame on a calendar – it is truly an attitude that you can utilize year-round! In this way, one can see so much more clearly what is important vs. what is not so much. For example, you can give a gift from a thankful heart because of how satisfied you are with how well one is doing in lieu of giving out of duty or expectation. Pay attention to the details, one at a time, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of it all. You can enjoy one Christmas card, one gift your receive or give, or one bite at a time of a fantastic meal.
Time will, indeed, flow by regardless of how crazy you make yourself. So why not slow down your responses to exterior (and interior) stimuli? Then you can select the way you react to it instead of wearing yourself out from the inside, reacting vs. acting. Life can become so much more simple if you try this method of selecting a response (Acting) vs. gut level Reacting.
The Spirit of Christmas should nourish your Spirit, creating attitudes of thankfulness and joy. Do you remember that last time when you actually felt JOY? If it has been a long time, some introspection is required to find out when it left, how long it has been gone, and decide what you can do to restore it to your life so you can experience it again on a more regular basis. You may ask why that is important: Because JOY and PEACE are twins – they come and go together.
Peace is more than a word you hear and see during the Christmas Season. It is an attitude and a way of living. It is something you can cultivate in your life which can begin with learning to breathe deeply. Take a yoga class or T’ai Chi if needed. In our frenetic world, it is vital to your Spirit because it nourishes you from the inside out. It also simplifies complex situations which crop up all too often. When you feel like you are in a box and cannot get out, it is time to take a truly deep breath and seek the CALM (like that at the center of a wheel in lieu of living on the circumference where you feel like you are being run over).
The Spirit of Christmas is a gift you can give yourself every morning, if you so choose, no matter the time of year. Think about it: Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Do you Eat to Live or Live to Eat?
This would appear to be a simple question, when in fact it is extremely complicated. Raised in families, we become accustomed to the foods we eat, as well as the way we eat them.
Do you eat your food quickly, as though you were starving? Or is a meal a leisurely activity that you enjoy eating slowly as you chat at the table with loved ones and friends? Do you prefer Italian to Mexican or American vs. Oriental? Are you a “meat and potatoes” person? Do you like white bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth or quality grains that nourish your body?
If you stuff in your food as fast as you can, the center in the brain that notifies you that you are full never gets a chance because you have already over-eaten, packing the food in, stretching your stomach so you will eat more next time. It actually takes 20 minutes from the time you are full and should stop eating until that center tells you to stop. So, how much more will you stuff in that your body does not need? Answer: A lot!
How about where you are eating? Do you eat in front of the TV set, paying attention to whatever is going on there vs. how much and what you are eating? Do you drive up to a fast food outlet, order at the window, pick it up at another window, and start eating before you even leave the parking lot, stuffing it in as you drive? Or do you go in, order your food, and eat it there peacefully before you begin to drive?
Portions are equally important. When you are in a buffet, do you put so much on your plate that it should have side boards? Let’s say that you are really hungry, so you put more on the plate than you know you should really eat? Do you eat it all? Are you trained to “Clean your plate!” Do you continue to just stuff it in?
The statistics in these United States for overweight people, including not only the obese but the morbidly obese, have increased astronomically from the young all the way up to the very old. If you question this, go anywhere people congregate – the grocery store, schools, fast food restaurants, etc. You will find that most of the people are from somewhat big to so heavy they can hardly walk. It is no small wonder that medical costs are rising astronomically.
Look at the food shelves by checkout. They will be filled with comfort foods, sugary treats, and other items like chips, etc. Look at what is in the carts of people as they pass you by. You just might be amazed at what you find.
Do they teach nutrition in schools? Not really. Do they teach food groups? Not usually.
What is the answer to this conundrum? A change of focus is absolutely needed.
All diets work for the same reason: Your intake of food is less than what energy you expend, every day. There are so many diets out there that it makes your mind spin. If you try one and do lose weight, statistics say that you will put back on the weight you lost plus some within a year. It takes a whole year for your body to get used to the changes. Most people just go back to whatever they ate before they began the diet.
Are you a couch potato? You will normally be eating far more calories than you are burning. After checking with your doctor, you may begin any physical activity that you like. Walking is normally within everyone’s ability. Do what you can to increase your expenditure of calories. It will be a blessing in so many ways, including increasing your balance, stamina, and ability to live your life.
So you may ask, “What is the answer?”
It lies in educating yourself on food groups, portions control, and making wise choices with what you put into your mouth. It takes a life style change to be persistent in maintaining weight loss. Perhaps you could write down what you are going to eat the next day and stick to it. That works really well for some people. It is not will power – it is more “won’t” power (as in I will lower my intake of pop, munchies like chips, and sugar products). It requires you to make a decision to lose weight so you can be healthier. Educate yourself on what your body likes. I know that mine loves vegetables and fruits, with some protein to balance it out. I try to eat something from all the food groups every day. If I do eat a piece of pie, I balance it out with eating well the rest of that day and the following one. I chew my food more slowly and savor the taste of each bite. This also helps me to know when I am full so I can stop eating. Physical activity aids me as well as I enjoy yoga and strength training, including aerobic activities. My mantra is: “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips,” when I am deciding what to eat.
You just have to ask yourself: Do I live to eat or do I eat to live? The choices belong solely to you. No one can do it for you. Yes, you can get surgical intervention in several ways, but do you really want to do that? Everything carries a price. Do you want to pay the price of never making any changes in your selection of what you eat, how much, and how fast? Do you want to stay a couch potato? It may take a while, but that price will inevitably be paid in a way you do not like and will not want to pay. That may include a shorter life span with corresponding ill health.
God’s blessings upon your journey!
As I look out my window and see the lovely flowers, I am reminded of the idea that there really is a time for all things. Right now, it is a time for heat and staying indoors as much as possible until the cool of the Colorado evening arrives so we can walk around the lake. Later and sooner than you think, it will be time to put up the shorts and find our jackets, and then our winter coats.
When I don’t feel up to par and this old body hurts, aches and complains, I have to remind myself that “This, too, shall pass.” I exercise and do my physical therapy, put on my happy face, and get on with my day, whatever that becomes.
I know that no one likes to be around a complainer. Period. Complaining just sets whatever it is that is going wrong into concrete and is much harder to deal with. Why would anyone want that?
I find something to rejoice in, no matter how small. Perhaps it is a few moments in hot water in my jetted bath tub, which eases any body part that is complaining. Perhaps it is looking at my photo albums on my computer and putting on some nice music as they keep showing frame after frame. My point is that one does not have to remain in that bad mood unless you truly want to do that. There is so much to be thankful for if one just looks for it. That is the key.
Life is so short so I don’t want to waste the precious time that God gives me every day. There are loved ones who need a word of encouragement, a saleslady that truly needs a kind word and a smile, a child that needs a cuddle and to know that it is OK, etc.
In short, dear readers, it is up to you to choose to stay in the “bad day,” or find ways to make it better. Are you willing?
God bless you on your journey!
As I left Walmart recently, I looked to the east and saw the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen! It was so bright and clear as the sun was setting. Beneath the rainbow was a light blue sky. Above the rainbow was a darker, cloud-filled sky. Above that was a mystery rainbow that was almost there but not quite. What an amazing sight it was! I do wish I had my camera with me so I could capture it, but it was placed instead in my heart, mind, and memory as clearly as if I had taken a picture.
My point is that, if my mind had been busy on some problem, I probably would not have had the Awareness to see the Beauty in my surroundings in that moment of time.
Does your mind play tricks on you as well? We are so caught up in our thought processes that the Present just slips by, unnoticed. I wonder how much Beauty we miss every day?
What if one is so caught up in an electronic gadget that you remain unaware of anything but the screen? That happens more often as the technology produces even greater toys for us to play with.
Awareness and Focus are actually the same thing. How about you? What do you keep in your attention zone? Is it worthwhile? Or is it just entertainment?
While you are experiencing it, are you aware of time passing? You turn around and an hour, day or week have passed you by. Time is something you cannot buy back. Once it is gone, it becomes irretrievable except in your memory.
In short, Awareness is a valuable tool for you to experience your Present. Are you willing to consider this idea? It is well worth it.
God bless you on your journey!
The question arises: “Do Feelings Pray?”
Some would reply, “What an absurd thought!” Some would think, “How could this be true?” Others would agree wholeheartedly. How about you? What reaction do you have to those three words?
That is the telling tale in how you live your life.
If you would be the first one (“What an absurd thought!”), your reality is based on what you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, taste with your taste buds, touch with your hands, etc. Is that all there is? Nope! In fact, so much of our reality is just our perception of things, not the real hard facts about things. There is so much more to life than this.
If you are the second response (How could this be true?), you want a bona fide answer to all of life’s myriad questions. Some would say, “You are from Missouri – Show me, Prove it, etc.” Unfortunately, taking something on faith is not within your possibilities. The quandaries your mind must go through are endless.
If you are of the third type who would agree wholeheartedly, you have been able to work through some of life’s most troubling problems successfully.
Why? Because feelings begin in the unseen world of thoughts, rising up from that well deep within your being. Your Spirit resides here. Your Consciousness lives here.
Most people think that outer situations command a response – be it anger, bitterness, love, laughter, etc. Yes, there are messy situations outside of us. There are people on this planet whose main goal in life is to make others miserable. Yet there are others who are working for the highest good of all. There are so many in between these two extremes.
As for you: Have you laughed lately? Have you smiled? Are you “down in the dumps, thinking that life sucks without end!”
Have you given your power away to someone else who may be bent on making you incredibly sad? What do I mean when I say, “given your power away?” Just precisely that. Your interaction level with that person is solely within their control because you let it happen. If you want something badly enough from that person, he/she can manipulate you at will. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question.
Feelings are precious. They are the seed of your tomorrows. If you plant feelings of sheer misery, how can you hope to grow plants of laughter and good things coming to you?
One must be always aware of what you are emotionalizing about because those emotions then quantify, multiply, and bring more. If it is good stuff, great! If not, guess what kind of crop you will receive? You got it. In other words, if you emotionalize over what you DO NOT WANT, you are sure to get exactly that! Is that really what you want? Doubt it. That can never change unless you do.
Outer situations cannot control you unless you let them. The difference is between ACT and REACT.
When you REACT to a situation, you are giving your power away. When you look at what is going on, analyze it, and think about how you want to ACT in response to it, you maintain your sense of awareness. You actually DECIDE on an appropriate action in lieu of getting angry, saying mean things (which you cannot take back), or getting physical. Even SILENCE maintains a powerful influence on the outcome of events, especially if you cannot decide what to say or do in this instance.
It is OUTER vs. INNER. Some people would pray about it first before responding. Others would rather scream and yell. It leads to no good end, but so many use this response, it does make you wonder.
How about you? If you are pondering some of life’s events, both good and bad, where is the balance of your emotions? Are you feeling PEACE, GRATITUDE and THANKFULNESS for the good you still have, or is your heart bitter, complaining over all you have lost? Until you can release the latter, you will be unable to see the former. It is as far from you as the East is from the West. In other words, you cannot get there from here.
If you think about the possibility that FEELINGS DO PRAY, you can begin to change your life for the better. It simplifies a complicated process of personal growth, of which AWARENESS is the Beginning of Change.
It is all up to you, after all. Do you want the sadness of your yesterdays to continue to rule your life now, or is it time to let it all go, turn your attention to this very moment of today, and look for something to be pleased about? Do you want to keep moping around, or do you want to begin to REALLY LIVE your life?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: act, awareness, blessings, change, choices, consciousness, emotions, feelings, focus, God, Gratitude, Inner, journey, laughter, let it all go, life, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, outer, Peace, perceptions, plant, power, prayer, react, really live, sad, seed, silence, Spirit, thankfulness, thoughts, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom
Your focus is vital to your quality of livingness. Sometimes, situations demand your attention. Life can get really complicated. Answers may appear few and far between. Is there a solution to this conundrum?
Yes: Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians carved columns at the Temple of Karnak. One of those carvings demonstrate a person’s chin moving from looking straight ahead, turning to one side. In other words, change what you are looking at – the idea of focus.
In the Bible, Matthew 5:39 states: “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” In my Protestant upbringing, it served to teach me that I should be a rug and let others walk all over me as I was doing a holy act. This is known as Pacifism, which by definition is: “Opposition to the use of force under any circumstances; to not return insult for insult, abuse, or revenge .” Religions have been founded on this idea. However, as I grew up, I woke up one day. I realized that others learn nothing if you let them walk all over you, leaving their footprints on your back. It was not “a holy act.” In fact, it was a form of violence, harming my spirit. I had to get up off the floor, remove the rug from my back, and stand straight. When others (whom I had trained by accepting their poor behaviors without resistance) tried to repeat their acts, I gently but firmly let them know that I was no longer going to accept it. They, of course, kept trying. (After all, I had trained them well.) Surely, I would eventually respond the way they expected. (It is like someone puts a coin into a pop machine but does not get a can of pop. That person punches the button harder, thinking it will activate. When it does not, anger accelerates to the point of possibly kicking the machine, etc. ) In order to change the interaction level, the perpetrator eventually has to change his/her actions, accepting that you have changed. If not, he/she leaves. You might lose a supposed friend or two, but you will be better off in the long run because you will attract others who will respect you.
I found that “turning the other cheek” actually goes back to when Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. He knew what the teaching was behind the Temple of Karnak carving. If one changes what you are looking at (your focus), you can become more aware of answers and solutions that were excluded by the narrowness of your focus – just like a camera lens – whatever it is focused on appears in the frame, and the rest is excluded. Life is like that.
If you want to stay on the level of the problem, all you have to do is keep thinking, emotionalizing, and talking about it. The more energy you pour into it, the bigger it appears. You are, in fact, turning a mole hill into a mountain no one can climb. You may want someone to rescue you (as you are a victim), saving you from whatever is going on. Fact: The more you claim yourself to be a victim, the more reasons you attract to feel that way. It reinforces itself, always.
How do you break the flow of negative synergy? Change what you are focusing on. It is that simple, and that hard. Habits are hard to break. That includes mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual ones. Awareness is the beginning of change. Realizing that something is not working is the beginning of a new plan of action. Find something that does work for you. Write out a list of possibilities.
The Power of Nonresistance has been glorified by many, but is actually understood by few. In Matthew 5:5, it states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness, again, is taught to us as: “Patient and mild; not inclined to anger or resentment; too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless.” Here is an idea for you: Meekness actually means “teachable” – the ability to bend with the winds of life so we do not break. Think about it: Can you learn to “bend with the winds” instead of becoming rock-hard in your opinions and actions? Submissiveness and obsequiousness can only lead to more trouble. If you are a person, you need to stand up for what you believe in. You are entitled to respect, safety, and the ability to express your ideas and opinions.
It is a well-known fact that water wears away rock. Just look at the Grand Canyon to confirm that idea. Why does it work so well? Water flows around the rocks. It is the act of flowing that wears the rock away. Can you see that “bending with the winds of life” is the same principle as “water wears away rock?” It is, you know.
Meekness and turning the other cheek actually go hand in hand, after all. Interesting concept, isn’t it? Are you willing to contemplate how you might solve problems in your life by changing your attitudes, actions, and choices?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Benjamin Franklin was an advocate for: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Even before him, it was said on-board ships, with known limitations on size, that one could conserve space and promote tidiness by using this principle.
Have you ever sat down at a desk piled high with business papers, including junk mail? It is almost impossible to concentrate because every sheet of paper you look at requires something from you. It has the effect of a Gatling gun, which tears asunder wherever it is pointed. The higher the pile, the harder it is to sort through. Your attention may wander. Soon you get up and go do something else, leaving the mess the way it is on the desk. Is this counterproductive? Of course, it is. I have to do a primary sort and then work through each stack, one piece of paper at a time until the mess becomes orderly again. The trick is to actually finish each stack in its turn.
A room can have the same effect. If clutter is the order of the day, it usually stays that way. It is a known fact that, when you enter a room, you have 15 seconds to decide to change something. After that, it just becomes part of the background. A simple act, done consistently, can save you more than you can imagine: If it is trash, put it in a trash can while it is in your hand — do not just set it down somewhere. If you are in a car, keep a trash bag handy and throw it away as soon as you can.
If you make a “To Do” list, breaking out each thing you want to change, you will have a higher success rate in accomplishing said change.
There are some work places that require their workers to have only one project on their desk at a time. The rest are in a “Suspense Drawer.” This enables the worker to focus on only one thing at a time. After all, that is the only possibility anyway, with the other projects/ideas kept in a circling pattern (like air traffic controllers, who keep the airplanes at different altitudes and patterns). The trick is to not lose track of the airplanes. I personally use sticky notes, writing down whatever I need to keep in mind before I turn my attention back to whatever it is I am doing at the time. My “To Do” lists also work very well for me.
As one ages, Organization is called cuing: You decide where to put something like car keys, and then you always put them in that place every time so you do not have to go looking for wherever you put them down. It saves a tremendous amount of hassle, as forgetfulness comes naturally to most of us as we grow older, not to mention Dementia in its many forms.
I personally have a bad habit of setting things down wherever I am if my focus changes to something else. As a child, I lost more coats that way until my mother taught me to: “Count noses: If you came in with something, make sure you leave with it.” I still use that to this day, all these years later. It helps me to keep track of car keys, cell phones, sun glasses, etc., when I go into the bank or a store. I know of people who have to do that with their children even! It’s a busy world out there, after all.
I have seen people give small children car keys to play with because they make noise. This gives the child the idea that it is a toy, so he/she naturally grabs them without the parent knowing it. Then the game is on to find keys when one needs them. Can you see what a bad idea this is? Cell phones fall into this category as well because they are ubiquitous to every household now.
Suggestion: Keep the needed items in the same place every time: Car keys, cell phone, medicine, sun glasses, etc. It is a good stress reducer, eliminating misplaced items.
Life rarely gives you the opportunity to be organized. It comes at you full bore, overwhelming one with a plethora of things that require your response. One needs to sit down, take some deep breaths, and begin to quiet the thoughts that come to mind. If you break whatever is overwhelming you down into bite-size pieces, you can get a lot more done, perhaps even surprising yourself.
One method for accomplishing a task is to: 1) Decide what task to do; 2) Gather whatever you need to do it; 3) Do it; 4) Put everything back where it belongs. This works wonders! Actually, most people fail because they do not have “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” This eliminates clutter from happening in the first place.
If, however, one has not decided where to place anything, let along everything, and clutter is everywhere, how do you begin? One item at a time. Decide where this item will “live” and put it there. You can always change its “home” whenever you need to do so. Years ago, a friend of mine was visited by her mother-in-law, who insisted on helping with housework. One day, her husband came home and asked her, “Does the vacuum cleaner live in center of the living room?” Of course, that was where her mother-in-law kept it so she could use it frequently. The vacuum cleaner, of course, returned to its real home in the closet. It is a simple, workable premise.
I have a dear friend who purposely and frequently goes through the house, one drawer or closet at a time, looking for things she no longer uses or needs, giving them away. This includes a freezer, kitchen gadgets, clothes, etc. She is the queen of Simplification. She was a Social Services Director of a Nursing Home, helping family members make some sense of homes filled to the brim with loved ones’ stuff. It is strange, but we work all our lives to acquire it. Yet, in the end, it all must be recycled elsewhere. Sad thought, isn’t it?
Some people are “string savers” who cannot let go of anything. Sometimes they are known as “hoarders.” They have boxes of papers and mementos with sentimental attachment to the simplest of things: A child’s drawing, cards, outgrown clothing, etc. It can actually take an outsider to help that person prioritize and release that stuff. Are you one of these? Do you need help letting go? Or can you just begin to do it?
Organization does not happen by itself. It takes time and focus. But, like the journey of a thousand miles, it begins with one step. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
First Panel: The Organized Closet
Second Panel: The Organized Bathroom
Third Panel: The Organized Kitchen
Fourth Panel: The Organized Office
Fifth Panel: We can all have this kind of tranquility before us if we simply follow mother’s one basic rule of living…
Sixth Panel: Girl on left says, “Mom…?” Mom on right says: “Don’t look up! It spoils everything!”
File boxes on floor have labels: Put Away, File, Review, Misc., etc.
“Our Thoughts Our Angels Are.”
This axiom, worded like Yoda in Star Wars, has guided me for many years. It quiets my mind, calms my emotions, and reaffirms my connection to the God I believe in.
God, after all, is not afar off. Nor is He capable of ever giving a “busy signal” when I am dialing in with a prayer. I do not have to consider the idea of my unworthiness in order to seek His Guidance.
Long, long ago in a galaxy (life) far, far away, I was raised to be a good Catholic because my mother was raised by Catholic nuns. My father was a Methodist, but he died two days before my 8th birthday. So I was raised in the only way my mother knew: Catholic to the core. I could not only spell unworthiness, but I knew guilt for never, ever being perfect. In fact, I knew I could never do anything right. It was not a possibility for me. I attended many versions of Baptist theology for a lot of years. It came as quite a surprise to me a few years ago to find out that I was actually Catholic at my core.
Over the millennia (or so it has seemed to me, sometimes), I evolved. I found out that I was a Child of God. I was, and am, and always will be guided by the gentle, loving Father who helps me always along my chosen path. That is why I take His Hand every morning before my feet ever touch the floor, because together we proceed into each day.
So what has all this to do with my axiom, “Our Thoughts Our Angels Are?”
Thoughts create emotions which drive the engine of our being. These emotions, if they be positive in nature, aid us in our growth. But if they be negative, we are torn asunder. So you need to ask yourself, “Do I want to grow and become all that I am meant to be? Or do I want to remain in this chaos where hope and love cannot survive?”
Yes, you can choose what thoughts and emotions you cogitate on, for they are the gasoline for your spiritual engine. If you want to change your life, you have to look at what that consists of for you right now, and decide to begin anew. Each day is a fresh page. What will you write on it? It is all up to you.
We often look to Heaven and the God we believe in for assistance with Life’s problems and scenarios. But do you ever look within to your thoughts and emotions? Are you listening for answers as you continually recreate the chaos in your life, beseeching, pleading a God who appears to not respond? What are you looking for — rescue so the pain will end? If you are looking for that, you will have a long wait, my friend.
God’s blessings upon your journey!
The question is: What do you perceive? Do you see the angel? Or is it just a wisp of a cloud, without meaning? The same is true of thoughts and emotions. What are you thinking and feeling?
Mindfulness is a quality which is worthy of your intense attention. Without it, you drift through your life. With it, you can experience more joy and awareness than you would believe possible.
Mindful is defined as: “Having in mind; aware, heedful, or careful.”
Mindless is defined as: “Not using one’s mind; showing little or no intelligence or intellect; senseless or thoughtless; taking no thought; heedless or careless; unmindful.”
The first definition (Mindful) is informative, but the second definition (Mindless) comes closer by comparison to what can happen if one does not use Mindfulness.
You may ask: How does one begin to understand Mindfulness? The answer is quite simple: Stop and Breathe Deeply.
When one actually stops (as in sit down, make yourself comfortable, and begin to look around you), things change. You begin to see colors, shapes, and sizes. You become more aware of your surroundings. Use your eyes and really look at objects. Use your fingers and touch the cloth you are wearing, sense the hardness or softness of what you are sitting on, and reach out to touch things within reach. How do they feel? What do you smell? Is there some food cooking somewhere? Is there a sweet or a sour scent somewhere close by? What do you hear? Do you have some soft music on, or can you hear the children giggling as they play a game? Did you just eat something sweet or perhaps a piece of fruit? Can your taste buds still sense the tanginess of it? In other words, use your five senses to evaluate your surroundings.
Once you have done that, place one of your hands on your belly/stomach area and one on your chest. Close your eyes. Now breathe. If the hand on your chest is moving a lot more than the lower one, you know that you are not breathing in a good way. You are more subject to stress and a lot of other ills. If you are breathing like this, you need to relax your stomach/belly and expand it with the incoming breath, pulling it in as you breathe out. It may seem strange at first, but it is vital to your health to learn how to Breathe Deeply. Now try to slow your breath, breathe in as deeply as you can and slowly breathe out. Try to breathe out longer than you breathe in because it is getting rid of the carbon dioxide and impurities.
If you have tried these exercises, you have a new awareness of your surroundings. You can then begin to do it any time of day, anywhere, and under any circumstances. You can do it for just a breath or two, or as long as you please. You may find that colors become more vibrant, and your five senses will wake up to new levels of experience.
Mindfulness is a central theme to a movie I just watched titled, “Griffin and Phoenix.” It was a very interesting story about a man and a woman who find each other only after they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and do not have very long to live. Each one knows, looking back at their lives, how they worked and lived without being truly aware of anything. They find in each other the ability to live with Mindfulness. They want to experience every day fully as they create memories together. She knows she will not live till Christmas comes again, and she loves Christmas and presents. At the end of the movie, he goes to a hardware store and buys whatever it takes to surprise her with a decorated Christmas tree in the woods, including batteries to light up the lights, and lots of presents. It was a very poignant story.
Mindfulness can become an important part of your day. Just the act of walking can activate many thoughts as you are aware of your space and others around you. Perhaps you may see other people differently because you are more aware of what you are saying and how you are saying it. That can cause a new interaction level which can be more pleasant, whether it be a small one with a store clerk, a coworker, a friend, or a loved one. It can make you more efficient at work because it is no longer a boring repetition, but your mind is actively creating — be it a work of art, a sentence, taking care of a customer, or just cleaning up a mess that a small child just made. Your life can change a lot. But first you must be willing to pay attention to the details of your life. Like a flower emerging from the snow, you can express more livingness and joy.
After all, it is your journey and your choice. Mindfulness is a mine filled with valuable treasures, but only you can use your focus to find them. Are you willing to do it?
God’s blessings on your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
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