Recently one of my colleagues suggested that I didn’t seem to have many “hang ups” or issues around self-esteem, jealously, or power struggles with my peers. I said, “Well, I’d like to think that’s true; it’s not!”
I’m human; I have my moments like everyone else. (You may have heard me say that before.) I’m the youngest of six kids. Feelings of jealousy and lack were definitely present when I was young. The key word in the first sentence is “moments”. Through mindfulness practices I have learned to keep those feelings contained to moments.
What I love about Mindfulness and Buddhist teachings is that they offer the practice of being “present”, something I work at daily, sometimes hourly. For me, mindfulness means participating in life as it is, seeing situations and “things” as they are NOW, without judgment. Mindfulness means “be-ing” not “do-ing”
The practice of being present reminds me to live in this moment. It doesn’t mean that I ignore the times that feelings of lack, unworthiness or jealousy appear in my mind it simply means I recognize that those feelings are here. Sometimes I might take it further and ask myself what they are here for or what I might need to look at for healing within myself in order let those feelings move on. Sometimes it means I say to me, “That’s an old pattern or issue, that’s not my life now.”
We have become so used to “do-ing” and fixing that we forgot about “be-ing”. You can start “be-ing” mindful more often by incorporating some of the following practices into your life:
- Pay attention to your breathing. Sense the flow by being aware of the sound of your breath and the rise and fall of your chest and belly.
- Notice what you are doing while you are doing it and tune into whatever it is that you are doing. If distractions arise, notice them and come right back to what it is you are doing. When you are doing something, just do it. When doing dishes, do the dishes, when eating, eat.
- When walking, pay attention to where you are and what sensations might be going on in your body. Let thoughts of where you are going or what’s next on your to do list simply fade away.
- Practice listening to yourself and others without judgment. Focus on what someone is saying, without anticipating what your response will be.
- Spend time in nature. This could be at a park, a zoo, or simply in your own backyard; watch the leaves, the birds, the flowers, and the bees.
- Begin a mindfulness meditation practice by listening to guided mindfulness meditations or creating your own. Find a quiet place to sit or lay down comfortably; focus your mind on the present moment; be aware of your thoughts, without judgment, be willing to stop focusing on them and release them. As they appear you might say to yourself, “hmm – ok, I have this thought; now I let it go”.
- Take time to simply be. Release the need to constantly do something. Allow yourself to simply sit, lie down or stand without an agenda.
We tend to see things through our ego, through a biased mind, based upon our habits and emotions. When we can begin to practice “be-ing” instead of “do-ing”, our life easily and effortlessly becomes more joyful, the essence of Soulcial Living!
For meditations and more visit the resource page at TeriGriffiWilliams.com.