Most people are busy ‘doing’ instead of ‘being.’ The problem with being busy all of the time, doing stuff, is that we tend to miss a lot of the signals in our lives which are there to guide us towards the life we desire to create for ourselves.
Our lives are actually full of ‘potential’ with so many options available to us right here and right now.
What do we actually choose to see?
How do we define, and then react to, what we are seeing?
The answers to these questions tell us much about the way our mind is currently working and whether we are acting as a human doing or a human being.
Being a human ‘doing’ is hard work! It sucks up all your time and energy.
Many people spend a lot of time rushing around filling in every moment of their day often just to avoid spending time with themselves. Unfortunately for them, they basically become unaware of how they are feeling. This is because they are preoccupied with the endless chatter of their mind and with activities that are external to them-self. These people are busy ‘doing.’
How much clutter is in your life? How neat and tidy is your wardrobe, your kitchen cupboards, your garage, bookshelf, or garden shed?
The places where we live and spend our time are a reflection of the clutter going on in our minds. An unfocused mind will allow chaos to reign in the physical spaces surrounding us, reflecting the dis-order that is within.
It is fortunate that this can work both ways. A clear, relaxed, and focused mind will create a clear and ordered environment to live in. We can help relax our mind by clearing away some of the physical clutter, removing that which we no longer use or need from our living spaces. With fewer objects to focus on and distract it, our mind can slowly begin to unwind. Removing those things that cause tension and replacing them with objects that inspire a feeling of peace helps us to relax and be more comfortable.
It becomes more of a challenge when we share our spaces with others. However, there are always things we can do to create a more harmonious environment for us and those we share it with. It may be something simple such as introducing a calming picture on the wall, some relaxing scent to remove the stench of old cigarettes or a small smooth pebble found on a beach kept in your pocket to stroke. Other more drastic options may include redecorating, moving house, or changing jobs.
Life is too important to waste time doing things that do not benefit us. If we value and respect ourselves, our choices will reflect this. By clearing away that which distracts, and is unnecessary, we can focus on that which is important. Our body, mind, and soul will love us for it.
How to live the good life: First, we need to get to know our ‘self!’
It is really important to spend time every day to pause and check-in with ourselves to see how we are feeling. The more times we are able to do this the more beneficial it is.
How does it feel if I ask you to stop what you are doing and take a moment, for yourself, to just relax?
What thoughts immediately come to mind?
If you did stop, ask yourself ‘how am I feeling right now?’
What answer did you get?
Relaxed mindfulness: Learning to be more conscious through breath awareness.
Stop. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath through your nostrils, completely filling your lungs, from the upper chest to the lower stomach. Don’t force it. Pause on the full inhalation and then slowly release the whole breath. Gently pause at the full exhalation allowing the whole body and mind to relax.
Do this at least 3 times. You will find your brain is given an oxygen boost leading to improved clarity of thought. The cells in your body are also energized which helps with improved toxin removal. Our body and mind are intricately connected and as our mind relaxes, so does our body.
The importance of breathing is something that most people never even consider. We are born, and we begin to breathe. However, that does not mean we are getting the most out of our breath.
There are many ancient disciplines that incorporate various breathing techniques into their training. Yoga is one discipline that most in the West will be familiar with. Chi Gong, Tai Chi, and traditional martial arts also teach the importance of breathing correctly as a way of increasing energy, strengthening the body, and bringing clarity to the mind.
These disciplines have endured for thousands of years for one reason; the techniques work. The Ancients knew what they were talking about. Modern science has also been able to quantify the results of these practices and proven them to be beneficial for the body and mind.
How am I feeling right now? Learn to release stress, it’s easy!
Close your eyes again and check in with your body and mind. Ask yourself:
How is my body feeling now?
Is there any tension?
Where is it?
How much is there?
Do I know why I have tension there now?
Is it a common pattern for me to be holding tension in this part of my body, or is this something different?
What can I do to release this tension now?
Just breathing slowly and deeply can often help to alleviate physical, mental, and emotional stress. Imagine that your breath is flooding the tense areas with oxygen and see the tension dissolving right now, slowly releasing until you are feeling more relaxed. By focusing our mind on the task of relaxing our body, the mind will slow down and the endless chatter will lose its hold over us. It benefits us to close our eyes to prevent distractions from visual stimuli. Try, in a relaxed manner, to keep bringing your awareness back to the sensations in your body.
Easy meditation techniques really help with self-awareness:
Keeping your eyes closed, continue to breathe deeply and slowly.
Imagine sitting back behind your mind and begin to watch the thoughts that are going through your mind.
By becoming aware of how the mind operates, we can see which thoughts are most prominent and most frequent.
It is through our minds that we can begin to make dramatic improvements in the quality of our lives. We will all have different aspirations for our future and measure success very differently. So what we choose to improve on and discard in our thought patterns will be different. However, the process whereby we make the changes is the same for all of us.
Many of us seek to learn more to discover the secrets of inner peace and contentment. But it is through the elimination/replacement of the unnecessary and detrimental thoughts that we will obtain clarity and peace of mind. Sometimes less is more.
Human ‘beings’ are in control of their own lives:
The world for most of us is becoming increasingly complex and we can be confused and feel threatened quite easily because of the environment we are living and working in. These feelings are most often not based on life-threatening events but are more often due to social and emotional pressures. When we are in doubt about what to do, or how to react, it is beneficial to ‘return to our body’ for the answers. By taking a deep breath and applying some quick stress-releasing techniques we can regain control over emotions, calm the mind, and discover the best course of action.
It is a widespread illusion that external factors are creating problems in our life. It is actually our thoughts, beliefs, and subsequent actions that are the cause of our discontent. Those that teach that we are not responsible for our lives are crippling us to lead a life that is dependent on the actions of others, whereas we can quite easily take control over our life by becoming the master of our mind and emotions.
This is ‘becoming a human being,’ or one who is aware of themselves and the environment which they inhabit.
When we become aware of how things ‘are’ we can work towards effective change based on the reality of any current situation. To do this, we must realize that it is WE who are always in control of our life.