May 30, 2016

The Mindfulness Journey

For the next few posts I want to address one of the reasons I started my blog some time ago.  It is to have the conversation many don’t want or can’t have and that’s about our journey of healing; whatever that may look like.  I wanted to encourage a conversation about healing for the body, soul and spirit…Who you are physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and all the little nuances in between.

In this short series that started over a week ago about “If Not Now When”, I want to speak on these areas and touch on them in a few different ways.  I will start with talking about mindfulness.

So, what is mindfulness?  Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation. And according to Deepak Chopra, some people don't realize they are walking around without a sense of direction and to overcome this, we can practice mindfulness or being present with non-judgmental awareness. When trying to move towards mindfulness, ask yourself if you are aware and what you are aware of; focus on yourself, your body; focus on your breathing for a few moments; when something occurs focus on your reactions and why; and practice being present.  

I had to do a final project to complete my yoga teacher training certification (more on that later) and as part of the project I shared about mindfulness and how it can help in daily living.     

So, when thinking about this concept the practice of mindfulness asks you to be present in the moment.  It asks you to be aware of your feelings, your surroundings, your actions and your reactions.  I think this might actually be the first step in discovering what your calling or purpose is.  When we are still and aware, many things are revealed without there being a deliberate action.  Something very important that has come out of my practice of mindfulness is discernment and the peace that comes when the answers are clear. 

One way to come to a place where you are content about where you are in life and where you are going is to have an idea of what that looks like (and it doesn’t have to be very specific).  I know many people have vision boards and charts and five-year plans and all of that is ok, but it can also be as simple as posting sticky notes on your bathroom mirror.  In Habakkuk 2:2, it says “write the vision and make it plain”… I feel that this can keep us encouraged and goes hand in hand with mindfulness.  This brings clarity and direction and focuses us in on what it may take to get us to the desired result.  For example, if it’s a new project you are working on; getting this idea in your head, taking time to focus on all that it encompasses, writing it all down, taking time to get clarity about it, and moving forward positively may have the biggest impact on the outcome. Along those same lines, when you are aware of things externally and internally, how it affects you and how you react to it, you can create a space if it gets to be too much (whatever it is) and get back to your center or foundation; or your Creator.  Keeping in mind the goal is to create a journey in which healing, nurturing and peace can take place.

So, if not now, when are you planning to take the necessary steps in the journey? What is that going to look like? While you’re trying to figure out your next step…whether to buy a new home? Accept a new job offer? Save and spend on a long vacation? Start a family? Embark on the calling on your life for ministry? Or start a new business?... don’t forget to keep yourself surrounded by those who have your best interest at heart and can help promote a lifestyle of being present, non-judgmental and aware.  Those that keep you on your toes by asking, “if not now, when?” 

This is just a little tool that might help you along the way.  It can be quite valuable to spend a little extra time nurturing certain areas in your life so that you can hear the voice that gives you direction; discernment.  So, what helps you stay present and aware?  Is it journaling, walking, praying, sitting quietly?  I suggest trying a few different ways to accomplish this end result.  It might surprise you when in the midst of the chaos, you being to experience calmness, peace, tranquility, direction, focus, clarity, and connection.  I am here to encourage you and empower you on your journey…so, if not no…when?

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