The simplest definition of the word mindfulness is this: to be present in the now, in this moment.
Why is this important? Because most people live in their heads - in the past or in the future. They are either remembering and overthinking - I should have said this, why didn’t I do that – or they are planning – what is my to do list, what do I need to get done to be successful? Etc.
You can do this for yourself. Try and observe your thoughts. What were you thinking about before you started reading this? Earlier today? And observe your thoughts after you stop reading. Are you in the present moment? Or are you “in your head”?
Now, there is nothing at all wrong with thinking about the past or planning for the future. But living in the present moment, or being mindful, is highly beneficial for the following reasons:
* You stop ruminating or overthinking, which is linked with anxiety and depression
* You stop beating yourself up for either not having done enough or not having enough
* You begin to actually see, hear and feel what it is like to be alive RIGHT NOW. And right now is all you ever have, because the past is gone and the future is not here yet.
If you can feel what is it to be alive right now, you can find ways to enjoy the present moment. Why is this revolutionary? Because if you can enjoy the present moment, over and over again (moment to moment to moment) then you are enjoying and actively LOVING YOUR LIFE. You no longer have to be miserable about all the past mistakes, or worry about the future all the time. You can actually focus on the now, and take an ACTIVE ROLE in creating how you feel, for the better.
How do you take an ACTIVE ROLE? You mindfully – WITH INTENTION – start looking for the GOOD in the present moment. What is there to be grateful for in this moment? What is going right? What is beautiful around you? How can you bring more beauty around you (and kindness, and laughter, and joy)? How can you do more of what you love?
When you are doing what you love, such as reading for me and maybe playing chess or cuddling your dog or playing basketball or singing karaoke for you, you enter a state of FLOW. When you are in FLOW, you are deeply immersed in what you are doing and in a state of timelessness and pure joy. Fully IMMERSED in the MOMENT.
Which bring us to the Power of Your Beliefs.
What you believe shapes your reality.
DISCLAIMER: This is NOT to say that we are not part of systems of other humans who have their own beliefs, and therefore actions, that affect us. Of course our family system, community, government, the organization you work for and systemic issues such as racism and sexism, etc, etc, etc, exist and affect us.
BUT. Do you believe that you can find good people within these systems, within this reality? People that want to help and are kind? Do you believe that you can find friendship, mentors, love, passion, self-sacrifice, integrity, courage in this reality? What about your beliefs about yourself – do you believe that you are lovable, worthy, capable? How might this affect how you think, feel and ACT? How will this in turn affect how others think, feel and ACT around you?
Have you watched Star Wars? He-Man and She-Ra? Or any hero's journey story ever made? Hope and courage, valor and love are all part of the human spirit. Should Luke listen to Yoda or join the dark side?