Mindfulness is not a set list of things to do or say. There is no book of rules or simple way to make yourself a yogi of mindfulness. This is something that will take every day practice and endless patience. With this being said, there is no one on this earth that is not able to practice mindfulness and implement it into their every day lives and the best part, it doesn't cost a dime.
In our society of consumerism, happiness is used and abused as a way of forcing individuals to purchase something in order to be happy. When in reality, happiness doesn't cost a thing. By practicing mindfulness, you can live a happier, more meaningful life.
After hundreds of readings and podcasts, here is what I have gathered for you on mindfulness.
five keys to mindfulness
"We're here, but we don't know that we're here. We're alive, but we don't know that we're alive. Throughout the day, we lose ourselves." (Hanh)
Through out the day, we lose ourselves. We get caught up in our every day hustle and bustle and we don't take the time to be present in our actions. To focus on each step we take - our feet pressing the earth, each breath we take, inhaling the fresh air we take for granted. Be present in your life. It is yours and you only get these moments once. Cherish them and don't let them pass you by.
“If man wishes to escape from prison, the first thing he must do is realize that he is in prison- without that realization no escape is possible” (McGrane)
Awareness is the first step to anything. To recognize something is wrong is the first step to making a change towards bettering yourself and your life. Be aware of your life - your actions, the words you give to the world and the words you take. Pay attention to each moment of your life because your awareness of the world and beings around you shapes who you are. Awareness of your moments is what causes you to live, grow, feel and change.
"When you can truly come home to yourself and listen to yourself, you can profit from every moment given you to live. You can enjoy every moment." (Hanh)
Many people can show compassion to others with no problem, showing compassion towards themselves is where they struggle most. Show compassion to everyone around you, including yourself. I truly believe that the love you emit into the world and to yourself is what creates the most positive and radiant environment for one to live in. By being compassionate towards others, yourself and the earth, one can find peace in every moment of their life and find true happiness.
"Discovery is not the seeing of a new thing- but rather a new way of seeing things. We will, hopefully, see old, familiar things in a new way, and this an effect a change in us- a peculiar and profound sort of change." (McGrane)
You cannot change anything that happens to you in life; the only thing you are in control of is how you react. Be open to life and all it has to give. For sometimes what life has to give may not be what you planned for or what you wanted but the key to finding happiness and enjoying all elements of life is being open to every moment of it. Being close minded inhibits one from learning and growing from life and strengthening one's ability to adapt. When we are open to life and view everything as a lesson, something to learn and grow from, one can view even the bad in life as good. By implementing openness in your everyday life, one can view each moment of life in a whole new light.
"Life is like that. We don't know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don't know." (Chödrön)
Suffering is an inherent part of life. Rather than asking why something has happened to you or creating negative energy for yourself and your life, you must accept all moments as just a moment because that is truly all it is, a moment of your life. When things fall apart and you feel as though you want to run away or give up on life, encourage yourself to form a positive acceptance for whatever has happened. Accept your moments, good or bad, and rather than denying them, use them as a path to knowledge and growth.
While these 5 keys may serve you as a very basic path to mindfulness, remember that this is not something that comes easy. This is something I struggle with myself every single day. When you stray away from the path of mindfulness, do not give up or believe that the path is not for you. Mindfulness is a constant exercise of presence, awareness, compassion, openness and acceptance.
When life presents you with the unexpected, reflect on these 5 keys of mindfulness to find peace and happiness in all your moments.