Be more mindful today, conquer the world tomorrow.

Mindfulness, the final frontier.

Hey there! This is Week 28 of my blog series where I keep myself accountable by keeping an online journal of sorts. You can read the beginning of this story — Why I quit my job to study, volunteer and travel.

There has been a lot of buzz around what we need to succeed in this world of over-exposure and the answers range from the Meditation changing the lives of people as Mamata Venkat mentions in her TEDx talk and Andy Puddicome talks about how you just need 10 mindful minutes to be happy.

While the meditation that Mamata is talking about can last more than 2 hours, an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening; Andy tells us how you just need 10 minutes. 10 minutes of any activity that you can engage your mind absolutely. An activity during which you do not realize time pass and your mind is in an optimal state of arousal.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this state of mind, FLOW in his book -Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience where he describes exactly this phenomenon that Andy talks about in his TED Talk.

Flow, mindfulness, meditation. For me, it all just comes down to one thing. How do you make your life easier. Let’s face it, life is a bitch. More to some people than others but a bitch nonetheless. The first step to conquering the world is to conquer your thoughts.

What is the big deal about your thoughts? They form a fantastic cycle.

Thoughts -> Actions -> Results -> Belief ->Thoughts

It begins and ends with what goes on in your head. I borrowed a part of the above from Tony Robbins but added the part about the thoughts. If you never thought anything then you would never take any action and that would never result in anything leading you to believe that this is all that you are ever capable of doing. It all started with a can do or a cannot do attitude.

This is why they say.

History is made in the minds of individuals first, and then in reality. If there is anything stopping you from dreaming big, that’s the first thing to be ignored. Only if you reach for the stars, you will reach until the ceiling.

Only if you reach for the stars, you will reach until the ceiling.

Takeaway 1 — Thoughts are important.

The other aspect that I came across as I have been on this journey was that whenever I felt a peak emotion. Intense feelings of happiness, anxiety, fear, nervousness or excitement; all had my breath speeding up and my heart racing.

That is when it hit me. Control your breath, control your life!

Over the next few months, I put my hypothesis to the test. During the Basic Mountaineering Course I could feel my chest rising up and down and my breath speeding up as I struggled to make my way up a rock face. The tougher the slope, the more I hyperventilated. Days passed by, we were close to the the time when we would get back home. I closed my eyes and imagined what all I would do, where all I would go once I got back home after being away for 30 days. The same thing happened.

A few other incidences of anger and fear also led to the same conclusions. That is when I realized that what I was on to actually had some depth. I had started Pranayam (“Pranayama is control of Breath”. “Prana” is Breath or vital energy in the body. On subtle levels prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and “ayama” means control. So Pranayama is “Control of Breath”.)

Breath? Seriously? It is something that we take so much for granted. I am not sure how correct or wrong I am. But right now, this is my theory.

How have we been taught to deal with stage fear? Anger? Frustration or even dealing with impulsive decisions? The answer is to count till 5. Focus on your breath….Relax.

What the key to basic meditation? It is to clear your thoughts and focus on your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. Repeat until the said amount of time is complete.

The key to mindfulness or being able to completely immerse yourself in something without distractions is to get a handle on the thoughts that run amok. The first step to doing that is through your breath.

Pranayam and Meditation.

Here is how you can start Pranayam and it is known to help with various ailments as well. Personally it has helped me improve my running and get a handle on my asthma.

Hold your breath, because your next step is to conquer the world!

So what all did I do this week?

  • Got back home from Kerala to Mysore
  • Got my room and my study area sorted to help me get started with studies for the Exam in November 2016.
  • Continued to follow up with the folks to confirm my volunteer gig in Pune with Therapy Dogs. (They confirmed on phone).
  • Met a bunch of my friends in Bangalore after a long time!
  • Ate / distributed a butt load of Banana Chips! xD
  • Learnt how to use (The textagrams or infographics above are from there) (It is a good source for design of various posters as well as to learn about the dynamics of design, color, branding etc.,)

If you found this post interesting or thought provoking, please click on the small ❤ on the bottom right corner to recommend it. Follow me on this journey on self discovery and know what happens!

Thanks again to all you wonderful people for the love and support.
If you want to say hey, give me feedback or reach out to me for anything, I would love to connect with you —

Peace and Love. xx