When you ask yourself what is mindfulness you are really asking how to be the best version of yourself. How to be in the world with yourself and with others in a manner that is congruent with your values and your passion.
Mindfulness: A Template For A Meaningful Life
For many years I was looking at ways to become a better person.
I noticed behaviors in myself that I did not particularly appreciate, and I was committed to changing them. I am a yogini and I have a physical practice of asana, but I was always very curious about the philosophy part as well.
As part of my ongoing search for tools for bettering myself and living a meaningful life, I decided to take a leap and delve deep into the study of mindfulness.
Finding My Home
I am not a religious person and I was looking for a program that was secular and universal. I wanted it to be practical and comprehensive.
I found my home with the Mindful Life Programs organization.
I find that my deepening knowledge and my daily practice of mindfulness, meditation and reflection has created a way for me to be with my family and friends, as well as work with my clients, in a manner that is very beneficial for both me and them. I offer mindfulness classes and mindfulness and meditation instruction.
When I Needed Mindfulness The Most …
Many years ago when I just moved to Florida my son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. I had no idea what is mindfulness at the time.
Years of Endless Screaming, Sleeplessness and Frustrations
Milo was two and a half at the time of his diagnosis but we have been struggling since he was a week old.
We were so looking forward to this baby. My daughter was 10 ½ when he was born and yet this gift was far from what we expected. Years of endless screaming, sleepless nights, lack of social communication, his frustrations, our frustrations, a time so challenging and overwhelming that it literally took our breath away.
Getting Equipped to Deal with Life’s Challenges
Milo is doing very well today and is thriving.
I think these very challenging years taught me that to be equipped to deal well with the circumstances that life presents you with, requires skill. I found that skill years later in the practice of mindfulness.
So What Is Mindfulness?
Maybe this visual can help. Imagine that you are standing on a bridge taking a pause, a break …
Another way to look at this imagery is that the river bank you had just left is the past, it is already done, the river bank you are yet to get to is the future and it is yet to happen, the spot on the bridge where you are right now, that is where your attention should be since this is truly where you can make an impact.
How does being Mindful helps you live a better life?
So what is mindfulness? It is the wisdom to choose well, with clarity, your internal and external response ….
Here is something I learned just the other day from John Bruna, one of the founders of The Mindful Life Program:
“The first level of mindfulness is:
I am aware of what I am doing…. This is already beneficial.
The second level:
I am aware of what I am doing and I know why I am doing it. Even better…
The next level is:
I am aware of what I am doing, I know why I am doing it, and I recognize if it is healthy or not. Skillful or not.
From this we can step up to
I am choosing to maintain a healthy action or response. And I am Transforming an unskillful or unhealthy event to a healthy or skillful one”
Great examples are mindfulness for weight loss or using mindfulness to create healthy connections or mindful hypnosis to create positive outcomes. I am sure you all would like to be able to transform your unskillful or unhealthy event to a healthy or skillful one and with mindfulness, you can.
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