Are You HERE?
The word "mindfulness" is all the rage these days, it almost feels cliche.
But what does it really MEAN to be present, and how often are we truly in the moment, as opposed to spiraling in our own vortex of thoughts?
Mindfulness is non-judgmental awareness of the here and now. It's being aware of our bodies, emotions and minds, as well as our surroundings. So often we are not embodied in the moment, but instead locked in a room inside our minds, interpreting and layering stories around our circumstances. We aren't just observing our circumstances dispassionately, but we are comparing what is present, with our preconceived desires and notions around what things "should be" or "should have been." When we don't "get what we want," or when circumstances and situations unfold unexpectedly, we can internally react almost like a child throwing a tantrum, "I didn't expect traffic, now I'm going to be late! (insert expletive and upset here)", "I wanted that person to say YES and not NO. (insert spiraling thoughts of that person being wrong and ourselves being right)."
The fact is, we can't control the world around us. We can only learn to control ourselves and make choices from there. Practice being HERE and noticing your reaction to any present moment. You can always do an internal check in:
- how your body feels (is it tense or relaxed; is there pain or do I feel neutral or good)
- how tired or awake you are
- your mood and present emotions
- thoughts in your mind (what's the story you're telling yourself right now?)
Take three deep breaths, feeling the sensation of breath flowing in and out.
Then ask yourself: Can I do anything about this circumstance?
If the answer is yes, make a list of action items and start on what you can do.
If the answer is no, continue to practice deep breathing and try to soften around your reaction. Feeding your upset about something outside of your control is a waste of energy. It's simply the world demonstrating that it does not revolve around you. It doesn't revolve around any of us. Do what you can in the moment. Let go of the rest. Keep checking in with yourself, every few hours. Have more present moments.
I promise you'll start to understand yourself more, you'll be HERE more, and life will start to seem much more calm and clear.