Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mindfulness, "TAKE ONE"

In the world as we know it today, most people live in a constant frenzy.  Do you ever feel like you are racing through your days with out any control over your environment?  Ask yourself what are the repeated "things to do" statements that flood your brain?  How many activities have you signed your children up for after school?  How many things are you doing today that you do NOT want to do, REALLY do not want to do?  Be honest with yourself.  Are these "things" enhancing your family and you as an individual or are they depleting your energy and steering you from your family values?  Are you the one dictating your schedule of "things to do" or is the schedule dictating to you?  Do you even recognize that it should be the other way around?

When you're in this "GO GO GO!", frenzied state, a state of action & reaction, you may come to feel powerless in your own life.  Pressure, both external and internal can be overwhelming.   The anxiety from the recognition of things spinning outside of your control can and in most cases does overpower you, leaving you feeling exhausted, frustrated, angry and possibly alone.  Unfortunately this way of (un) living has become a norm, a standard in our lives that people have come to accept.  An expectation driven by a need to chase an ideal that is not in alignment with who we are.  It is also the constant schedule of tasks that keep us from, conveniently so, getting to know who we are, truly.  All of these factors add up to psychological, emotional and spiritual stress, which ultimately cause problems in your life and in your health.

If you want to begin to dictate your schedule, reconnect with your values and pilot your own life rather than be a passenger of it here are a couple of ideas to get you started.

1. Be mindful of what you are thinking and feeling.   One of the most well-recognized  Western definitions of mindfulness comes from Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.  He defined mindfulness as, "Paying attention a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally."
If you are not in a state of mindfulness, you are allowing you and your actions to be influenced by any thought or emotion, be it negative or positive. Most of the time, the negative thoughts and emotions have the strongest effect. Then they can lead to negative actions, reactions, and outcomes.  In short, you will be sabotaging your life.

2. Replace negatives with positives. Once you practice mindfulness you can begin to sort through your thoughts and emotions.  You will then be able to immediately recognize the negatives in your life.  Once you spot them, you can stop them and replace them with positive thoughts and emotions.  
Several effective ways to remove the negativity from your system and replace it with positivity is through positive affirmations, journaling and most importantly paying attention to the conversation, the words in your mind that you are saying to yourself in any given situation.  
The more you practice this new way of communicating with yourself the easier it will become to correct the negative self talk.  Our brains hate to be wrong and will do everything in its power to prove your thoughts to fruition.  It takes mindfulness, patience, and courage to change your behavior.  You are the one who has to conclude what works best for you.  


  1. Maureen Madden-TardyMay 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Love what you wrote here! You are a great writer!

  2. Maureen, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  3. Excellent advice. I wish more people understood this.

  4. Thank you Tahalia. As we plant the mustard seed, the truth will grow.