‘Mindfulness’ is a term that is often thrown around, but frequently misunderstood.
Let’s dive in and see what this really means, and how you can apply mindfulness to your life right away. First, let’s define ‘mindfulness’, so we are on the same page:
Mindfulness: being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and the outcome of both as they create your reality.
Prayer is an easy example when we want to understand the power of positivity: when we pray, we take ownership of how we feel, what we think, and for what we ask. We take the time to get down on our knees, sit, or reflect. Then, we ask for something with the purest of intentions.
The only conflict of interest is if we next get up and act differently. A lot of people don’t realize, but prayer is ‘everything’ you feel, which often comes from how you think. It’s not ‘only’ the moments of prayer that count, but instead, it’s all you feel all the time.
And for this reason, we’re discussing the term mindfulness and how it relates to your life throughout each and every day. But, before we become ‘mindful’ of how we think and feel, we have to take a step back and look at ourselves from a higher perspective.
In order to become mindful, you’ll first need to observe how you speak to yourself:
- Do you beat yourself up?
- Are you mean to yourself, judgmental, or critical?
- Or do you constantly feed your mind and heart with thoughts and feelings of positivity, acceptance, and compassion?
Example: let’s say you walked into a room and heard someone being yelled at, talked down to, and disrespected. How would you feel? What would you do? Would you allow someone to be beat up with words like: “you’re stupid, you’re the worst, I can’t believe you did that, you suck, etc.”? Or would you stand up and tell that person to shut up or they’re going to get it?
Now, let’s think about how this relates to the internal dialogue about yourself. If you find you’re often dissatisfied with your own performance, actions, and abilities, you’re probably telling yourself you’re not good enough and you never will be, in not so many words.
If you wouldn’t let anyone else get away with talking to you — or someone you love — this way, then why would you possibly let your own mind speak to you this way?
It’s unacceptable and perhaps #1 form of abuse in today’s society: self-abuse.
Next time you hear your mind criticizing you, take a step back, observe what’s happening, and tell it something like this:
- Don’t you ever speak to me like that! You better stop or you’re going to get it.
- I told you once, mind. Enough is enough.
- If you dare say anything like that to me again, I’m going to put you on a shelf and you’re done for the day. (at which point, you would quiet your thoughts, shut your mind up, and decide to simply feel for a day)
Consider this exercise anytime your mind is being mean to you or anyone around you. Own your thoughts and feelings by first observing them, understanding their power, and then concluding you’re the boss and they are not.
You own you. You own your thoughts. Your thoughts dictate your feelings. And your feelings dictate your reality. Choose your reality by first choosing your thoughts.
mindfulness is the practice of observing — and changing — your thoughts from negative to positive, thereby changing your life in the exact same way.
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at drkareem.com on June 5, 2017.