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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Everyday Mindfulness

What is the biggest challenge to remaining mindfully present throughout our day? By now, we all know that awareness is the first (and maybe last) step in the process. Living mindfulness is like living from the inside-out. When we are not aware, we are living from the outside-in, a condition that is reinforced daily by the media and our materialistic culture. The simple truth is that we forget. I forget, you forget.....we all forget at times to be present. Before you know it we are indulging in a desire (or thought) at the expense of someone else and/or the expense of our sense of connectedness and peace.

To quote from the Karate Kid which I saw with my family lastnight, "Doing nothing and stillness are very different". Stillness flows and is continually inspired by a deep sense of presence. "Doing nothing" is inspired by fear and fatigue. The first step in practicing Everyday Mindfulness is awareness. In my experience cultivating an attentiveness to the breath is the most potent and direct path to awareness. Practice bringing your attention again and again to the breath. Relax and be present. In a moment of intensity and reaction, breathe deeply and relax. In a moment of great joy and celebration, relax and breathe. Notice how your breath changes throughout the day, when you retain the breath and when you sigh heavily. Your body speaks to your consciousness through the breath and you communicate through presence...awareness. This takes practice but can most certainly improve your mental, emotional and physical health.

Direct your attention inwards again and again and you may realize a greatness and a gratitude within that will fuel your life expression. Practice being aware of the breath and your shoulders as two points of concentration throughout the day. Sit in silence for five minutes per day, keep it simple and enjoy your Self.



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