Mindful Living

Are you Here?

“Not Here” is the state of having your mind anywhere but the present moment, locked in thoughts about what you’re going to do later, about something someone else said, about something you’re stressing about or angry about. The state of mind where we’re lost in our smartphones and social media. A stress-free life doesn’t exist, but these tools will definitely make you more prepared to deal with the stressors that will inevitably come your way.

Mindful Living

Meditation. Meditation is where mindful living starts. And it’s not complicated: you can sit still for even just 1 minute a day to start with (work up to 3-5 minutes after a week), and turn your attention to your body and then your breath. Notice when your thoughts wander from your breath and gently return to the breath. Repeat until the minute is up.

Be Awake. Awake, which is not being in the dream state (mind wandering into a train of thought, getting lost in the online world, thinking about past offenses, stressing about the future, etc.) but being awake to the present, to what is. Being awake is something you can do throughout the day, all the time, if you remember. Remembering is the trick.

Watch Urges. When I quit smoking in 2005, the most useful tool I learned was watching my urges to smoke. I would sit there and watch the urge rise and fall, until it was gone, without acting on it. It taught me that I am not my urges, that I don’t have to act on my urges, and this helped me change all my other habits. Watch your urge to check email or social media, to eat something sweet or fried, to drink alcohol, to watch TV, to be distracted, to procrastinate. These urges will come and go, and you don’t have to act on them.

Watch Ideals. We all have ideals, all the time. We have an ideal that our day will go perfectly, that people will be kind and respectful to us, that we will be perfect, that we’ll ace an exam or important meeting, that we’ll never fail. Of course, we know from experience that those ideals are not real, that they don’t come true, that they aren’t realistic. But we still have them, and they cause our stress and fears and grief over something/someone we’ve lost. By letting go of ideals, we can let go of our suffering.

Accept People & Life As They Are. When I stopped trying to change a loved one, and accepted him for who he was, I was able to just be with him and enjoy my time with him. This acceptance has the same effect for anything you do — accept a co-worker, a child, a spouse, but also accept a “bad” situation, an unpleasant feeling, an annoying sound. When we stop trying to fight the way things are, when we accept what is, we are much more at peace.

Let Go of Expectations. This is really the same thing as the previous two items, but I’ve found it useful nonetheless. It’s useful to watch your expectations with an upcoming situation, with a new project or business, and see that it’s not real and that it’s causing you stress and disappointment. We cause our own pain, and we can relieve it by letting go of the expectations that are causing it. Toss your expectations into the ocean.

Become OK with Discomfort. The fear of discomfort is huge — it causes people to be stuck in their old bad habits, to not start the business they want to start, to be stuck in a job they don’t really like, because we tend to stick to the known and comfortable rather than try something unknown and uncomfortable. It’s why many people don’t eat vegetables or exercise, why they eat junk, why they don’t start something new. But we can be OK with discomfort, with practice. Start with things that are a little uncomfortable, and keep expanding your comfort zone.

Watch Your Resistance. When you try to do something uncomfortable, or try to give up something you like or are used to, you’ll find resistance. But you can just watch the resistance, and be curious about it. Watch your resistance to things that annoy you — a loud sound that interrupts your concentration, for example. It’s not the sound that’s the problem, it’s your resistance to the sound. The same is true of resistance to food we don’t like, to being too cold or hot, to being hungry. The problem isn’t the sensation of the food, cold, heat or hunger — it’s our resistance to them. Watch the resistance, and feel it melt. This resistance, by the way, is why I’m doing my Year of Living Without.

Be Curious. Too often we are stuck in our ways, and think we know how things should be, how people are. Instead, be curious. Find out. Experiment. Let go of what you think you know. When you start a new project or venture, if you feel the fear of failure, instead of thinking, “Oh no, I’m going to fail” or “Oh no, I don’t know how this will turn out”, try thinking, “Let’s see. Let’s find out.” And then there isn’t the fear of failure, but the joy of being curious and finding out. Learn to be OK with not knowing.

Be Grateful. We complain about everything. But life is a miracle. Find something to be grateful about in everything you do. Be grateful when you’re doing a new habit, and you’ll stick to it longer. Be grateful when you’re with someone, and you’ll be happier with them. Life is amazing, if you learn to appreciate it.

Let Go of Control. We often think we control things, but that’s only an illusion. Our obsession with organization and goals and productivity, for example, are rooted in the illusion that we can control life. But life is uncontrollable, and just when we think we have things under control, something unexpected comes up to disrupt everything. And then we’re frustrated because things didn’t go the way we wanted. Instead, practice letting go of control, and learn to flow.

Be Compassionate. This sounds trite, but compassion for others can change the way you feel about the world, on a day-to-day basis. And compassion for yourself is life-changing. These two things need remembering, though, so mindful living is about remembering to be compassionate after you forget.

One response to “Mindful Living”

  1. Brianpreox says:

    We lodge in a frenzied rhythm, worrisome to snare everything: how to properly write time in an essay [url=http://collegehomeworkhelpsfk.com]core connections homework help[/url] write an essay on, come to c clear up, school in, courses, while not forgetting to allocate time to go to games and entertainment. But from time to time it happens that overdone plans can be disrupted away unexpected circumstances.

    You are studying at a noted University, but it so happened that apt to a large tons of absences and the failure of the next period, you were expelled. But do not despair. Practically any last swotter can get without much difficulty. The recovery process is insincere near one utter noted fact — the why and wherefore an eye to the deduction. All causes can be divided into two groups. Upon these groups, as well-spring as the systematization of improvement, depending on whether the producer belongs to a specific of the groups.

    Subtraction concerning a safe reason or at your own insist on
    Valid reasons are disease, pregnancy, military help, and others that do not depend on us. Also, if you conclude, as a replacement for illustration, to discontinue training, which currently prevents you from edifice a career. So, you require to:
    what should i write my college admissions essay about [url=http://collegehomeworkhelpsfk.com]homework help english[/url] how to write a good transition sentence for an essay
    communicate with an germaneness to the rector owing reinstatement to the University;
    get up all needful documents (passport, instruction certificate, hypothetical certificate and documents confirming your need to butt in your studies);
    providing all of the atop documents to the University.
    If you calculated in favour of unchained, you can also be accepted on a budget, subject to availability. All this is plenty for restoration, but if more than 5 years have passed since the expulsion, you may silent entertain to in the flesh dispose of with the Dean of the faculty.

    Reduction for a insolent why and wherefore
    Also-ran to perform and, as a follow, repudiation from the University due to their own laziness and irresponsibility is not encouraged, but you can also recover, although it is a little more intricate and alone on a commercial basis. Initially, the approach for rise is the anyhow as in the course of a worth reason. Additional conditions an eye to spare about at the University are already synchronize around him, so you demand to in the Dean’s employment and explain what else is needed as a remedy for recovery. You on also extremity to assemble with the Dean of your faculty. Turn for the better in this lawsuit will barely be on a paid basis.
    how to write a parody essay [url=http://collegehomeworkhelpsfk.com]site[/url] how to write an 8th grade essay
    It is very much complex to reflect on at a higher educational dogma, it requires a oodles of elbow-grease, obdurateness and time. Many factors can enjoin you from closing a term: complaint, tension, or unsophisticated idleness. And if you were expelled utterly no faux pas of your own, then do not despair, because at any tempo you can redeem and resume your studies both in your University and in another, if you suddenly want to revolution your way in the retrieve of education.