Mindful living tools for you
Mindful tools for you
I have chosen to live my life mindfully, because it gives me pleasure and meaning in life. I don´t always remember to live like that, but I try hard each day to remember this holistic and sustainable way of living.
A mindful life where we awake from the dream state we?re most often are submerged in ? the state of having your mind anywhere but the present moment, locked in thoughts about what you?re going to do later, about something someone else said, about something you?re stressing about or angry about. The state of mind where we?re lost in our smartphones and social media.
It?s worth the effort, because being awake means we?re not missing life as we walk through it. Being awake means we?re conscious of what?s going on inside us and around us, as it happens, and we can make more conscious choices rather than acting on our impulses all the time. We are fully in our life reflecting and being, rather than a passenger in high speed through our own artificial life.
The second thing I?ve learned is that we forget. We forget, over and over, to be awake. And that?s OK. Being mindful is a process of forgetting, and then remembering. Repeatedly. Just as breathing is a process of exhaling, and then inhaling, repeatedly. So maybe a way to remember mindfulness could be to remember to breathe the right way ;o).
The third is that mindful living isn?t just one thing. It?s not just meditation. Nor is it just focusing on the sensations around you, right now in this present moment. I?ve found mindful living to be a set of very related tools, perhaps all different ways of getting at the same thing, but each useful in its own regard. Try to focus on yourself BEING in this very present moment……..
I?ll share them in this post, and hope that you?ll consider each in turn.
Why You Should Care
Life is so short and we only live once, so why not be 100 procent you and happy all the way?
A stress-free life doesn?t exist, but these tools will definitely make you more prepared to deal with the stresses that will inevitably come your way.
But just as importantly, they?ll help you overcome the fear of failure and fear of discomfort that?s holding you back, that?s keeping you from making positive changes in your life.
These tools will help you launch your new blog, start a business, start the exercise you have been thinking of for a long time, write a book, put out your first music album online, find your purpose in life, become the person you?ve always wanted to be.
To achieve this I will give you 12 tools, that can be useful:
This list is not a complete list. It?s a collection from my life experience and am still learning things I?ve found useful enough to share.
- Meditation. Meditation is where mindful living starts. And it?s not complicated: you can sit still for even just 1 minute a day to start with (work up to 3-5 minutes after a week), and turn your attention to your body and then your breath. Notice when your thoughts wander from your breath, and gently return to the breath. Repeat until the minute is up. Stretch your body before and after your meditation.
- Be Awake. Meditation is practice for being awake, which is not being in the dream state (mind wandering into a train of thought, getting lost in the online world, thinking about past offenses, stressing about the future, etc.) but being awake to the present, to what is right now in your presence. Being awake is something you can do throughout the day, all the time, if you remember. Remembering is the trick.
- Watch Urges. Try to stop the bad urges that is not good for your body and life. It can be very difficult, but if you really want to change, then make a plan and make it become real. You can try to sit there and watch the urge rise and fall, until it will disappear, when you are not acting on it. It will teach you, that you are not your urges, that you don?t have to act on your urges, and this will help you to change all your other bad habits, if you have them. Watch your urge to check email or social media, to eat something sweet or fried, to drink alcohol, to watch TV, to be distracted, to procrastinate. These urges will come and go, and you don?t have to act on them.
- Watch Ideals. We all have ideals, all the time. We have an ideal that our day will go perfectly, that people will be kind and respectful to us, that we will be perfect, that we?ll ace an exam or important meeting, that we?ll never fail. Of course, we know from experience that those ideals are not real, that they don?t come true, that they aren?t realistic. But we still have them, and they cause our stress and fears and grief over something/someone we?ve lost. By letting go of ideals, we can let go of our suffering.
- Accept People & Life As They Are. It is very important to accept people as they are. That doesn´t mean that you can´t change them, but you should only do it by inspiration expressed from yourself. This acceptance has the same effect for anything you do ? accept a co-worker, a child, a spouse, but also accept a ?bad? situation, an unpleasant feeling, an annoying sound. When we stop trying to fight the way things are, when we accept what is, we are much more at peace. But off cource somethings has to be changed when they are unfair and are destroying peoples peace, freedom and lives in general.
- Let Go of Expectations. This is really the same thing as the previous two items, but I?ve found it useful nonetheless. It?s useful to watch your expectations with an upcoming situation, with a new project or business, and see that it?s not real and that it?s causing you stress and disappointment. We cause our own pain, and we can relieve it by letting go of the expectations that are causing it. Toss your expectations into the ocean.
- Become OK with Discomfort. The fear of discomfort is huge ? it causes people to be stuck in their old bad habits, to not start the business they want to start, to be stuck in a job they don?t really like, because we tend to stick to the known and comfortable rather than try something unknown and uncomfortable. It?s why many people don?t eat vegetables or exercise, why they eat junk, why they don?t start something new. It is very hard to change a long time habit. But we can be OK with discomfort, with practice and start at new good healthy habit. Start with things that are a little uncomfortable, and keep expanding your comfort zone.
- Watch Your Resistance. When you try to do something uncomfortable, or try to give up something you like or are used to, you?ll find resistance. But you can just watch the resistance, and be curious about it. Watch your resistance to things that annoy you ? a loud sound that interrupts your concentration, for example. It?s not the sound that?s the problem, it?s your resistance to the sound. The same is true of resistance to food we don?t like, to being too cold or hot, to being hungry. The problem isn?t the sensation of the food, cold, heat or hunger ? it?s our resistance to them. Watch the resistance, and feel it melt. This resistance, by the way, is why I?m doing my Year of Living Without.
- Be Curious. Too often we are stuck in our ways, and think we know how things should be, how people are. Instead, be curious. Find out. Experiment. Let go of what you think you know. When you start a new project or venture, if you feel the fear of failure, instead of thinking, ?Oh no, I?m going to fail? or ?Oh no, I don?t know how this will turn out?, try thinking, ?Let?s see. Let?s find out.? And then there isn?t the fear of failure, but the joy of being curious and finding out. Learn to be OK with not knowing.
- Be Grateful. We complain about everything. But life is a miracle. Find something to be grateful about in everything you do. Be grateful when you?re doing a new habit, and you?ll stick to it longer. Be grateful when you?re with someone, and you?ll be happier with them. Life is amazing, if you learn to appreciate it.
- Let Go of Control. We often think we control things, but that?s only an illusion. Our obsession with organization and goals and productivity, for example, are rooted in the illusion that we can control life. But life is uncontrollable, and just when we think we have things under control, something unexpected comes up to disrupt everything. And then we?re frustrated because things didn?t go the way we wanted. Instead, practice letting go of control, and learn to flow.
- Be Compassionate. This sounds trite, but compassion for others can change the way you feel about the world, on a day-to-day basis. And compassion for yourself is life-changing. These two things need remembering, though, so mindful living is about remembering to be compassionate after you forget.
Well, that is a lot to digest and remember.
If you think that the 12 tools feel right for you, then write them down in headlines and place them a central visible place and the practice can begin right now.
This is the process of learning mindfulness. It?s forgetting, and then remembering, again and again.
Do it dear friend. I believe in you. YOU BELIEVE IN YOU.
Love and wisdom