These two words have become fashionable.
And it is usual that we do not know what it refers to, although we like to live fully.
Mindfulness is a translation of the word “Mindfulness”, which refers to our ability to stay in touch with who we are, with what we think and feel, even with what we experience moment by moment.
That is, practicing mindfulness is live aware of everything what happens outside and inside us.
Buddhist teachers and many other Western researchers indicate that when we begin to practice mindfulness, there is an awakening within us, discovering things about ourselves that went unnoticed.
One of the great discoveries when we get into this new way of living is that we discover that we have lived on “automatic pilot”. We react to our emotions instead of regulating them, we make decisions driven by our emotions, we speak without caring for our words, our mind lives in the past or future, or we feel that we always respond in the same way.
You must have nodded your head when reading what I just shared with you. Because it is so, we live automatically. The great mindfulness revolution is that we become aware of all this.
On a psychological level, I believe that this “automatic pilot” is to let our subconscious take control, because inside the beliefs acquired from our childhood are sheltered and learned behavior patterns.
The key is in live in the now, in the present. And when we do, life takes another rhythm, one full of calm and learning.
Mindfulness and work
The other day I read a couple of articles where they indicated that Mindfulness Practice in the World of Work Doesn’t Work.
Some people say that teaching workers to live fully translates the idea that the problem is in the worker and not in the structure of the company or organization. I think this conclusion is hasty and you only see part of the problem.
I believe that changes have to occur in the work environment, promoting places free from harassment or mobbing, attending to the needs of the workers (because we are human beings and not machines), reducing the work overload because in the end a burned-out worker is less efficient and therefore the entire structure will suffer.
But I also think that Mindfulness practice helps us regulate our emotions, to reduce our stress and distance ourselves from problems. Because we like it or not, the workplace is one of the main sources of stress.
Teaching mindfulness in the workplace is not synonymous with blaming the worker, it is just an aid to better emotional health inside and outside of work. Changes, to be profound, must occur inside and outside organizations and companies.
How to live fully
Practicing mindfulness and living mindfully is a decision we make every day. But when we live from our consciousness and fullness, we begin to change the way we interpret life, and that’s where the profound changes come from.
Today I want to show you the first steps on this journey towards consciousness and the present. There are only 4 steps that you can practice every day.
Observe yourself: Perhaps you think that you already observe yourself because you live each day in your body. Living in your body is different from observing it. Observation requires spending time, figuring out what we feel, think and do. It is also maintaining a curious attitude towards who we are and towards the content of our mind.
For Buddhism, observation is the basis for getting to know ourselves better. Because rit requires patience, time, and attention. We can achieve all this when we live in the present, if we are remembering the past or anticipating our future, we cannot observe what is happening inside us. The present is elusive.
My advice for you to start observing yourself is that you become aware of the decisions you make. Observe why you decide one thing and not another, what has motivated you to make that decision, what thoughts have led you there and what emotions have prompted you to decide.
Go little by little, you are not in a hurry. Knowing you is an art that requires time and calm.
Do not judge: Once you start observing yourself, don’t judge anything. Do not think that one decision is “good or bad”, avoid thinking that one emotion is “good” and the other “is bad”. Mindfulness practice introduces us to the path of refuse nothing.
Everything on your mind is fine. The nature of your mind is to create thoughts and emotions, but you should know that its content changes, it is not static. You change every moment. What we do do is stay static when we hold tightly to thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and opinions.
Direct the light of your attention: Our attention is the key, it is the light of the beacon of consciousness. Where we direct our attention, we give life. So now that you are beginning to live fully, direct your attention to the present, because in the present everything is fine, it is where calm hides.
Stay in each moment, flow with the thoughts, do not cling to them. The headlights rotate their light, you do the same with your attention, do not get caught in a thought or emotion.
Breathe: Please breathe, but breathe not only to survive, do it consciously. To achieve this, you just have to bring your attention to the breath.
And although it may seem easy, when we try to stay focused on the breath for a few minutes, we become aware of the frantic activity of our mind, which is capable of moving us away from the present. It is normal, we are not used to it.
The key in mindful breathing is observe distractions and return to our breathing consciously.
To help you even more, you can download a free meditation that I have recorded to make you more aware. You can download it from here.
Stay in the present, go back to your breath