I often find myself warming up to an inspiring one-liner by Eric Butterworth: “Don’t go through life, grow through life”. It brings me back to the centre of everyday human existence – mindfulness of everything that is happening around us. Simply put, mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. When that is achieved, we grow through life and become better human beings.
Mindfulness is simple
Life is happening right now but our mind often wanders away ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. At work, we may often catch ourselves dreaming of that perfect holiday of silver sands and golden sunrises; on vacations we are living deep in our gadgets, knocking away mails while many sunsets pass us by. Our thoughts control us totally. Mindfulness brings back into the joy of the present, allowing us to strike that perfect balance between personal and professional life. It is all about reminding ourselves and bringing the mind back to the present.
Mindfulness in society
Interestingly, mindfulness also impacts everyday behaviour. A confrontation with disagreeing neighbours for instance can push us to aggression. Yet we have a choice, to reply with the same aggressive behaviour or to bring mindfulness and surrender and reply back with a deeper stance and a sharper intelligence. The latter can in turn resolve the situation peacefully and bring in more calm to us and people around us. At work, mindfulness can enhance our effectiveness and reply to situations and problems with deeper and workable solutions, allowing us to make a stronger impact. Because we are aware, our clients are happy and the boss is happy. Mindfulness thus is a positive cycle for one and all.
Looking inward with mindfulness
Too often, when someone is talking, we are just waiting for them to finish, so we can add in our opinion – often missing the message itself. By bringing mindfulness to the way we listen, we are able to stay open to the perspective being communicated. To get the whole picture, we need to engage all of our senses and concentrate on the personal gestures and the messages that are being communicated. It goes a long way in enhancing our relationship with ourselves and the world around us.
Benefits of mindfulness
- Mindful people are happier, more optimistic, more empathetic and secure
- They have higher self-esteem
- They accept their own weaknesses and are willing to work on them
- They are more accommodating and less defensive
- They have more satisfying relationships with their partners as they can listen more carefully to their needs
- As better listeners, they have greater tolerance for everyone
- They are more content at work, as they are more efficient and open-minded
- They experience better confidence levels and more contentment
Marianne Williamson sums it up most succinctly: “In the present, when we allow ourselves to fully live there, we are restored, made wiser, deeper and happier”.
Through mindfulness meditations, I use a simple and effective way to reduce anxieties, worries and stresses in everyday life. Mindfulness meditations mean dropping everything which is in your memory and to come to a state where only consciousness and awareness remains. Various active and passive meditation techniques are used to create change at a deep unconscious level in a person by bringing about transformation in responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours and feelings. It creates a state of inner relaxation through deep healing, and enables one to start afresh with absolute mindfulness every day.