Time can often feel like it is escaping us. We long for clarity, focus, and insight into our life path but we are all too often caught up in the demands, pressures, and chaos of daily living. We wake up and wonder how we have gotten off track with our true goals, desires, and ambitions. We wonder how we have become so disconnected from our true selves. We long to experience the full vibrancy of life but the outcome of our distracted minds is often a low-level sense of stress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction.
Though they certainly have their place, surface level fixes like entertainment and worldly pleasures can only alleviate our feelings of dis-ease for so long. It then becomes apparent that we are seeking something beyond these distractions- something more sustainable and powerful.
The Magic of Mindfulness
If you are reading this today because you are longing for something more meaningful and tangible than you are in the right frame of mind to embrace the magic of mindfulness and the benefits of a meditation routine.
What is mindfulness? Quite simply, it is a meditation technique used to experience the present moment with clarity by releasing judgements, expectations, and thoughts. It is about sitting with yourself, and moving beyond a place of thought to a place of inner quiet and stillness. It is about non-judgement and acceptance, and most of all of cultivating a sense of genuine gratitude.
Beginning your Practice: Releasing Self Judgment
Meditation can feel uncomfortable for many people. It feels too esoteric and too ambiguous to render real results. Newcomers to the practice often feel agitated and distracted by the idea of sitting in stillness for prolonged periods of time. Their minds flood with thoughts, ideas, worries. They struggle to find a moment of inner quiet.
This is all completely normal and is an inevitable part of beginning a meditation journey. We are so used to constant thoughts, anxieties, and inner dramas playing out in our minds. We are not often conscious of the endless video reel of fears, regrets, hopes, and longings that cycle through our mind as though on repeat.
Acceptance of the Present Moment
One of the central concepts of mindfulness is truly and authentically accepting the present moment as it is, right now. Our minds are hardwired to be in constant ‘improvement’ mode. We are always trying to fix something by identifying problems and seeking solutions. Mindfulness challenges us to abandon our critical instincts and rather to simply experience the moment as it is.
What does this look like in practice? It means a curious and compassionate sense of wonder about all of the sensations we are experiencing in real time. It means accepting the sounds, stimuli, and characteristics of our surroundings. It means accepting the feelings of dis-ease, anxiety, and discomfort that we encounter during our meditation journey. It means cultivating an attitude of acceptance, rather than wishing or hoping the present moment to be any different than it is.
Growing with Gratitude
Mindfulness is a powerful practice because it clears our mind of the constant stream of thoughts and worries we are all so privy to. It allows us to move beyond a place of fear and self criticism and instead embrace an attitude of gratitude for what is. It allows us to reflect on what we have and allows us to enjoy the simple reality of being here in this moment, right now.
Gratitude allows us to refocus our priorities and helps us to re-envision our lives. Oftentimes, we feel like we are moving in so many directions simply because we have forgotten where our passion lies. Gratitude allows us to enjoy the journey of exploration, rather than running ourselves ragged because we have not accomplished all of our goals or discovered our purpose.
Make your Journey a Priority
In order to reap the full rewards of a mindfulness meditation practice you must make your sessions a priority. That means treating a meditation session much as you would treat a trip to the gym or your daily coffee and newspaper ritual. This is non-negotiable. We as humans grow through consistent effort. In order to gain more clarity and experience the relaxed sense of inner calm that come from meditation it must be incorporated into your daily routine.
The act of meditation will eventually become part of your everyday ritual and will be a source of calm and solitude in moments of stress, aimlessness, and restlessness. It will refocus your sense of self and will allow you to uncover where your passion and purpose lies.