In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Mindfulness: What is it? How do you get it?
So, if you’ve been reading my blog you’ve come across a word, “Mindfulness,” at least a few times. So what does it mean to be mindful?
Well, it means exactly what it sounds like. Being mindful is about becoming intimately present in the NOW.
Sounds easy, right? Not so fast, mi amigo.
You see, our thoroughly modern life comes with a huge variety of “problems” that we have to solve like: What am I cooking for dinner? Where can I get gas for a good price? Why did I say that the other night? What did my friend mean when they said…? All the things that we think about when we’re driving to work. All of the things we’re thinking about when we should be listening to our friend or spouse or parent.
And these are the rabbits that I’ve been talking about. Our brains have a thought and then we follow that thought throughout all the myriad ways that thought might play out in our lives.
This is also called “overthinking.” And Overthinkers love nothing more than to turn one problem into a million. 👋🏼 Anxiety sufferers get the gold medal in overthinking. 🥇🏆🏅
The problem with following these rabbits is that it removes us from NOW and now is where everything is happening. So if you’re following rabbits you’re not present and presence is the greatest gift you can give 1. To yourself and 2. To the people around you.
Being present allows you to experience realty as it’s happening. It’s fully immersive. Being present allows us to tend to what needs tending to when it needs to be tended to and it gives us peace of mind when we realize, “Hey, that shh isn’t happening now.”
In this way, if you’re re-living the past or worried about the future you’re not present.
However, this isn’t a license to procrastinate. Procrastination is failing to be mindful when we ought to be.
So, the next time you get caught up chasing rabbits down holes just pause, take a deep breath and ask yourself a few questions:
- Is what I’m thinking about happening now?
- Is it in the past or future?
- Is there anything I can do to change it?
- Does chasing this rabbit give me happiness?
If you answer yes to more than one of those questions you’re probably not present and thus, not being mindful. And when you answer yes to any of those questions all you have to do is focus on what’s happening NOW: What’s the person on the tv saying? What’s my friend/spouse/family member saying? What do these pants feel like against my leg? Whatever it is happening now, be with it. Immerse yourself in it.
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