What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness traces its roots from many sources including Buddhism and Hinduism. It flows from ancient religions like those into present-day psychology and spiritual practices. In Buddhism, mindfulness (Sati) is the first step towards enlightenment. In Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita’s discourse on Vedic meditation is akin to mindfulness.
Staying present in the moment is the core of mindfulness. Lucky are the few that have mastered it. Yogis and meditation experts that have mastered mindfulness are often described as people that you can’t help but be drawn to with their calm and quiet confidence. They have a light that shines from within, a certain positive energy that makes those around them feel warm and secure.
Sometimes we really want to be mindful, but for some reason, we can’t get there. Anxiety, impatience, and a short attention span detract from our ability to stay present.
The mindfulness around us
When that happens, we might sometimes derive satisfaction from being with other people who live mindfully. How so? Just open yourself to receive their mindful energy. And in time, you yourself may master the art of being mindful, if that’s what you want.
Mindful people really seem to know the value of taking each moment as it comes. It’s a great feeling to be fully present in whatever’s happening. In a state of mindfulness, we can absorb our surroundings, observe whatever is occurring, and engage in our current activity with all of our five senses.
In a state of mindfulness, we let a thought marinate. We listen, think, observe, act and feel.
In a mindful moment, we don’t fret about what happened before and we don’t stress about what might happen five minutes from now, next month, or next year.
Anxiety is the opposite of mindfulness and it happens because we can’t seem to center our mental state into the present. It’s important to anchor oneself both physically and mentally in the here and now. That’s what makes the difference. That’s the key to being mindful.
People who mostly stay in mindfulness seem to attract genuine friendship and invite positive experiences from life. Why? Others sense their authenticity and gravitate toward them. It’s natural for us to feel attracted to a person who embodies a mindful way of being. Mindful people approach life… deliciously.
Overcoming obstacles to mindfulness
That said, It’s getting more and more difficult to be mindful in our daily lives. This is because of computers, mostly. The world today spins much faster than it did for generation x, and for baby boomers who didn’t have to depend on cell phones to accomplish things in their lives.
Now, when we try to be mindful, our technology dependence and smartphone addiction fight us for attention. For example, ever go to the park with your child and totally miss something awesome that he or she was doing because you got caught up in scrolling your feed or answering text messages that came in?
The texts might have seemed important at the time, right? It could have been a reminder from the pediatrician’s office, or your mother wanting to talk about Thanksgiving. Maybe, someone, had professional modeling pics done and shared them on Facebook. You just had to look, or respond. Right?
But the real-life moment simply slipped away. Or maybe you SAW what happened, but you didn’t FEEL it. You knew what your child accomplished, but you didn’t experience it by immersing yourself in his or her joy.
And that’s why instead of bringing satisfaction the way that mindful moments do, you’ll look back on that time you were texting at the park, or whatever the situation was, with an anxious feeling of not being able to exist in two places at once.
Namely, you want to be in the real-time experience of your child’s development and happiness, or the peace of your home and garden, or whatever it is that you can’t seem to stay present for but wish you could. Yet the ever-beckoning smartphone tricks us into looking away every time.
How to avoid the just-missed or almost-missed moment being your entire life experience? Learn to be more mindful. Give yourself permission to be mindful. YES. No matter what anyone says, you are allowed to be in that moment!