Mindfulness is about being conscious of your mind and your body. It’s a practice of focusing awareness. When you are mindful, your attention is tuned into your emotions and all the sensations around you. It works with both the physical and psychological aspects of your daily life. As mentioned previously, reducing stress is one of the results of mindful meditation. There is evidence that it actually lowers the stress hormone in our bodies, and it also tackles stress by giving you perspective on all of your emotions. Mindfulness helps you to accept all your thoughts – positive or negative – and creates more resiliency. There’s no denying that life is stressful. The most effective way to deal with it is to acknowledge what you can change and what you can’t, and be mindful of moving through those feelings, knowing you can cope. Making situations disappear or transform, especially in the immediate moment, is not what mindfulness is about. Being mindful means you are accepting all that is happening, within you and your environment.
Non-judgment is at the core of mindfulness. There are no “good” or “bad” thoughts – only awareness. The choices that we make are based on either knowledge or ignorance. You can be living in an awakened state every day. When we make a choice in life it is neither good nor bad. It is just a choice that will lead you to the next experience that has already been programmed for you to meet. People think they have free will, but free will is only the choices we are given. Those choices come from being loving versus being non-loving. A great Master teacher, Sathya Sai Baba, said we should “start the day with love, spend the day with love and end the day with love” and if we do that we are constantly making the right choices in our lives. Every choice is a choice for love.
We should not be attracted to, nor have an aversion to what is given to us in every moment, but embrace and accept positive and negative as good. One cannot exist without the other. Being in a state of mindful meditation allows us to embrace both.
Life is meant to be a distraction. If you beat yourself up for being distracted, you’re creating more distractions. So start your day with a prayer that goes something like, “May all my actions today be for one purpose and one purpose only: to make God happy.”
Though you’ve set your intentions, one hour later you could very well be doing something that you know would not make God very happy. This is where your mindful practice comes in. If you notice your intention in that moment, there a good chance your conscience is going to tell you whether the action is in alignment with love/truth or not. And when it does, you have the opportunity to repeat your prayer again: “May all my actions just please You.”
You may be distracted again, sooner or later, but that’s all right. Saying the mantra or prayer starts a vibration that will automatically last for longer and longer periods of time. You will spend more time in a vibration of love and less and less time in the vibration of all that is not love. Focusing on love in the “now” helps to manifest your next moment – and all the moments moving forward – with love.
Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives or or explore over 20 personal development books including Bullying, Love/Divorce, Grief, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.
Image courtesy of Matheus Bertelli.