Mindfulness is about being aware. It’s about being aware of yourself, your world, your friends, your tasks, your dreams, life, and everything else. When you list everything out like that, it can get a bit overwhelming. For that reason, let’s just focus on “being aware of yourself” for now. Being aware of yourself can be anything from knowing you don’t like kale to realizing that going to church every Sunday (maybe any Sunday) just isn’t for you. It’s about learning to do you, even if those around you say it’s going to fail. It’s about learning to accept failure and push to try again or something new. Can you really do all those things through mindfulness, just by thinking? Yes, yes you can.
This will be the first in a series of posts going deeper into how mindfulness can help you. This series will go into 6 major things I think mindfulness both helps and covers. Take a look forward: (links will be added as posts are published)
It’s About Being Aware of Yourself <- You are Here!
It’s About Being Aware of Others
It’s About Being Aware of the World
It’s About Accepting Yourself
It’s About Accepting Those Around You
It’s a Lifestyle
¿Quién soy yo?
Who am I? It’s a question I recently got on Duolingo, an app where I am learning both French and Spanish. At first, I thought “I’ll never use that.” and moved on. A few hours later, it hit me. Who am I, while not useful in common language is just what mindfulness is about, especially in the beginning. Before mindfulness, I was a mind-less hypocrite. I often said what I believed yet didn’t always do it. It didn’t have to be something big, sometimes I just thought I should drink less soda while drinking it.
It wasn’t just actions that I struggled with, it was my beliefs. What did I believe? Was it only because that is how I was raised or was it because I had thought about it myself? It, again, can be
shallow or deep. To know who you are you must know what you believe from religion to speeding laws. You must know how you feel about life changing things and daily tasks. Mindfulness can help you reach this self awareness that many don’t even realize they are missing. Combined with the actions you take, mindfulness makes sure you are living true to you. That’s not to say, that self awareness stops at actions and beliefs. There is also dreams and emotions to contend with.
What is your biggest dream? Are you taking steps to get there? If your dream is to travel the world and learn about new cultures, why aren’t you? There are many programs that you can join that will let you work around the world. If you dream of retiring early are you still eating out every day? Do you have no idea what your dream is? Time to think! Mindfulness teaches you to not only find your dreams by thinking about your thoughts, but to reach them by realizing what it will take to get there. It all boils down to thinking. Even when it comes to your emotions.
Emotions. Things that men are taught to suppress and women can be mocked for. No one can win. It’s time to change that. Everyone has emotions and they are good for us. I use mindfulness to accept my emotions, to learn from my emotions, and to keep myself happier and more even keeled overall. You can do this too, by thinking! Think about how you feel, why you feel that way, and what you can do to either extend that feeling or change it to something better. Then do it. It’s really that simple.
Beginning A Revolution
So, say you can change your emotions, reach your dreams, become one with your beliefs, and find out who you are, all by thinking. How does someone even start? Is it really as easy as thinking? What if I need a little more detail than “go sit in a room and think?” I have created a few guidelines to help you begin learning how to be aware of yourself.
- Knowing Yourself: Begin mindfulness by reading this and adding these ten things into your every day life. Try to do these every day for a week, a month, your life. Eventually these will help you be more aware in every day life too.
- Being Yourself: Go through each moment of the day deliberately. For each thing you do/buy ask yourself the following questions and only get or do something if most of the answers are yes.
- Is this helping me?
- Is this enriching my life?
- Does this align with by beliefs and values?
- Does this further me to my goals?
- Does this make me happy? <- This one is the most important!
- Understanding Your Emotions: Read this and think about your emotions every day. What made you sad? How can it be helped? What made you happy? Accept yourself by accepting that you will not always be happy. Challenge yourself to meditate for five minutes each time you begin to feel a negative emotion. Think on
what is making you feel that way and how you can make yourself feel happier. Is it a change of mindset? Maybe it’s a change of location, friend, or clothing? Maybe it’s as simple as a walk around the building or some water to drink.
Should you really be sad at all? Maybe, but maybe not. Perspective can help everything. Talk to a friend. Talk to me if you have no one else to talk to. I’ll give you advice or just listen. I promise never to tell anyone without asking first.
- Knowing Your Beliefs: Keep up with current events and think about how you feel. Justify how you feel to yourself. Does it stand up to your own scrutiny? Practice healthy debates with friends. Listen to their opinions, really listen. Stay tuned for more about mindful and active listening in the next post of this series!
- Learning Your Dreams: Try new things! You never know when you are going to find the thing you love the most. Think about what makes you the most happy. Volunteer with different organizations, try new hobbies, work new part time jobs! There is tons out there waiting to be seen, it might take time, but you will find your passion!
- Living Your Dreams: Do everything above. Make sure to know your emotions, make sure to know what you beleive, make sure that every step you take during the day is making you a happier person and leading down the path to your dreams. If you need a place to being planning on how to get to your dreams, read this.
- MOST IMPORTANT! Accept failure. Accept that you will not be perfect. That you will binge watch TV on a bad day. That you’ll get the soda you know you don’t need it. Accept that you are not a robot and that you will fail, get hurt, start over, and start over again. The only real failure is the time you don’t start over again.
It More Than Mind
As you have read, mindfulness is more than the mind. It’s how you act, what you do, what you buy, what and who you surround yourself with, and yes, of course what you think. Keep in mind that just because you have committed to begin a happier person, doesn’t mean it will happen over night. It will take time and you might have to re-evaluate many times again.
Who Am I?
I am MadLady. I’m an unorthodox, artistic, and passionate hippie that believes in equality, peace, and respect. I sometimes struggle with depression and can have dramatic mood swings. I love trying new things, I only eat self-hunted meat, and don’t believe in God or any Gods. I get embarrassed easily yet love to throw myself out there. I love talking to people and hearing what they have to say. I’m a minimalist, frugal, mindful, and always learning. If I even change the life of one person for the better, I’ll be happy.
Who Are You?