What it means to be mindful
… and what it doesn’t.
Some pretty prominent people in our society have brought a lot of attention to the topic of mindfulness, and because we have the technology to share information so easily, almost everyone has at least some understanding of it. Understanding mindfulness and practicing mindfulness however are two very different things, and may even be contradictory as the mental process of comprehension is actually in opposition to what mindfulness actually is.
Oxford dictionary defines Mindfulness as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something” and on the surface, one would absolutely think it requires more thought to be aware of things.
Be mindful, not mind full
The contradiction is apparent when you realize that awareness for the present moment, without the continual judgment and analysis of it, is what is truly freeing about the mindfulness practice. We are so conditioned to associate our thoughts as part of our identity that we often confuse them as an actual part of who we are. When we are not mindful, our thoughts can activate an immediate emotional response, which may lead to us having extremely unpleasant feelings, both physically and emotionally.
The human psyche is so powerful that we have the ability to literally think ourselves healthy or think ourselves sick, yet so little time is spent teaching children and adults alike to understand the connection between our thoughts and our experiences.
When we lock ourselves inside the vicious cycle of being unconsciously reactionary to our thoughts and experiences, we run the risk of stagnation, pain, and great suffering. The opportunity therein is when we learn to unplug from the reactionary and biased processing of our subconscious minds, we can remain in a state of presence and growth.
If all healing is a return to the memory of wholeness, and all thinking reinforces our memory patterns, then mindfulness has the power to free us from anxiety, depression, and any internal pain we are experiencing because pain is merely the desire for something to be other than it is.
It is natural for us to want to deeply associate with the thoughts we are having in order to make sense of our reality. Ironically, it is when we are less full of mind chatter that we are able to see more clearly and be at peace with what is.
A rude awakening
Awareness is key and sometimes it can be scary.
When you first begin to become aware of the thoughts you’re thinking and how they affect your mood and behavior, you can even feel like something is wrong with you. That is to be expected, as it is the recognition kicking in that is used to running on default without your awareness. So when you become aware of your thoughts, and the emotions that are activated from them, you are on your way to taking the second step which is becoming a judgeless witness.
Things are only painful due to the meaning we give them, and the meaning we apply is based upon attachments and perceptions that have built up in our minds with great significance.
When we aren’t responding consciously, we are in a state of stress response which further eradicates our energy flow and causes more and more contradiction.
Not in resistance, rather, full acceptance
It’s important to note that Mindfulness is not whitewashing. We are not pushing away the thoughts that are dense or uncomfortable, rather, we are integrating them as part of us by fully allowing the depths of feelings they bring. After all, it is the very act of pushing them away that causes them to build over time and eventually express themselves as inharmonious circumstances in our lives.
Mindfulness is all about Sovereignty and the power to choose. It’s not that pain and unfortunate circumstances aren’t real, it’s that our response to them is what will set them in stone as a vibrational match or be used to gently clarify what it is we seek for our lives.
Tools to help you practice
Mindfulness platforms like the Vybe Life app give you a way to begin to form new habits of awareness that put you in the driver’s seat of your default responses, allowing you to consciously and coherently navigate through the world. If you view challenges and obstacles as punishment, you will see no end to your pain and suffering. On the other hand, if you view challenges and obstacles as opportunities for optimization and growth, then you have now stepped outside of the ego-mind and into unconditional love and awareness. Over time, you become a conscious co-creator who doesn’t deny or disown the uncomfortable experiences of life, instead choosing to celebrate the joyful Now regardless of the circumstances.
We don’t always need to solve our problems but we need to integrate what we learn from them. It is within this space of total acceptance that we can begin to cultivate the life we desire through actively pursuing conscious responses and deactivating fear-based reactions.
You can begin training your mind and consciousness, right NOW, to be aware of how you react to your thoughts and emotions. Download the VybeLife app, and if you commit to playing along for just 7 days, we are certain you will begin to shift the patterns you don’t like into ones that you do. Download the free Vybe Life app here.