Last week I spoke about the gift of frustration and how in the process of leaning into the root of our frustrations, we open to one of its gifts: our freedom.
This week I want to return to one of my favorite topics: mindfulness. In particular, over the next few weeks I will be writing to you about how to create a diet of mindfulness in your life.
First, what does mindfulness mean?
For me it means being aware, awake, alive in our choices. When we live mindfully, we make conscious choices and therefore live with a purpose. Examples are many and range from choices such as eating more greens to increase energy & fiber to turning off the TV to connect with a loved one and everything in between.
Why a diet of mindfulness?
In my experience of practicing and teaching meditation, one of the best gifts the practice gives us is the ability to take what we learn on the meditation cushion and apply it to everyday life...therefore living mindfully.
A diet of mindfulness includes mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our life. Today I will focus on the mental aspects.
What are the mental aspects of mindfulness?
Examples: Your own self talk, who you are surrounding yourself with and listening to, and everything you read and listen to. Pretty much all things that you think about are the mental aspects.
How can I practice a mental diet of mindfulness?
From the examples above, notice what you are feeding yourself and being fed mentally, and how this "food" impacts your thoughts. Also pay attention to how it makes you feel. Mental and emotional body are connected! So, if you are watching TV and it provokes anxiety, shut it off and find another outlet that makes you feel good. Simple, right?
Another great way to become aware of your thoughts is during meditation. Maybe during meditation you realize how much negativity you've been absorbing at work or home and you are now having negative thoughts. Maybe you have always been a positive person and now it's becoming a challenge. Or perhaps you tend to be more on the negative side, and now it's costing you peace of mind and relationships...
How do I implement the mental aspects of a diet of mindfulness in order to live mindfully?
Start by noticing the mental diet you are currently on. Armed with this awareness (be kind to yourself in the process), you then have a choice to make. If you answer "yes" to living mindfully then as you notice the mental food that doesn't serve you, act to minimize/eliminate it.
Remember, thoughts are energy/matter and eventually become things. Especially these days our power to manifest (make happen) our thoughts is incredibly strong. That's great news so long as we are being mindful about that which we think...cause that which we think, will happen. Pay attention.