Mindfulness is something that most all of us here on Earth have the opportunity to work on. This is why so many spiritual teachers emerge to teach us different aspects of mindful living. To be mindful is to be aware, thoughtful, and fully present.
It is, in this day and age, particularly difficult to be fully present in any given moment. Thoughts of the past, of the future, of what you need to get or do, or what you’ve already done – all of these things prevent you from living in the moment.
To discover mindfulness, think of the way that children interact with the world. Children are capable of being very strongly present and focused on the current moment. When exploring the world around them, they aren’t thinking of anything other than what they are experiencing. Their entire world can be reduced to a dandelion, something that most adults would struggle with. Another way you can watch children demonstrate presence is when they fall down. They may fall, but unless they receive negative attention as a result, they just keep on going, continually moving on to the next thing in their journey.
The next time you feel your mind racing ahead of you, stop and practice mindfulness. Take deep breaths, focusing on both the inhalation and the exhalation – and the moments in between. If thoughts occur to you, take note of the thought and then return to the focus on your breath. Once you feel that you are back in the present moment you can consider any thoughts that may have occurred to you. Sometimes, all you need to do is acknowledge a thought and dismiss it.
Being mindful can help you achieve your goals, find a greater sense of peace in the world, and even reclaim some of the joy you experienced as a child exploring the great wide world.
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