By Maria Silvia Paoli, Certified Life Coach
Mindfulness is defined as “a basic human ability to be fully present, in a state of awareness and acceptance.” Sounds easy and natural, because we can be present from time to time, but it takes a lot of practice and personal work to evoke this state of mind and maintain it for long lengths of time.
The distance between our current state and a mindful state can uncover aspects that represent blockages, barriers and weaknesses. This is where we can focus our work of personal growth. In order to find a way to a mindful mindset in a more sustainable way, we need to understand ourselves on a deeper level.
There are many variables that come into play. In order to be present, we need to be able to
- silence our minds or witness it without judgment,
- feel comfortable with the flow of our emotions (feeling fully the positive and the negative),
- accept our present circumstances and/or processes,
- give up control,
- stop overthinking, and
- have a leap of faith in the universe.
Which of these are easily obtained? Which do you struggle with?
Here is a guide which will help you get to know yourself better:
- Can I silence my mind? What are the thoughts that come repeatedly into my mind? Can I separate myself from those thoughts?
- What are the thoughts, emotions and situations that my mind wants to hold on to? Am I aware of my emotions? What do I do when I feel happy, angry, anxious, scared, sad, etc? How do these emotions manifest in my body?
- Am I happy or satisfied with my life? What can I change and what can’t I change? How do I manage things that happen that are not under my control?
- Do I always feel the need to control every outcome? How do I feel when something turns out differently from what I expected?
Once we begin gaining awareness of ourselves using the guide above, a window opens and we can start grasping and understanding our thought process and patterns of behavior. We will then be able to be more present and able to break the blockages, barriers and weaknesses that may be keeping us from growing.
As I said, it takes a lot of practice to be mindful and present. This is just a guide. It may take us longer than expected to reach the point of being fully mindful and present. Therefore, it is important to accept where we are with compassion. This is a daily practice to integrate into our everyday life.