We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.
We need to start giving more to receive more.
Find peace within before expecting it outside.
Learning to love ourselves so we can love others.
Be ready to question our system of beliefs to create a new society system.
We can be all, create all, become anything.
What are we doing?
What are we choosing?
Who are we choosing to be?
Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes
Stressed Out? Try Some ‘Mindfulness’ Practice
The word mindfulness has become a prominent fixture in western vernacular in the past couple of decades. It is a direct translation of the pali word ‘Sati’ which literally means to ‘keep something in mind’. So then, what exactly does this practice entail? In brief, we should understand that mindfulness is essentially a ‘centering’ practice that aims to make users more aware of how their bodies and minds function.
For example, a common method for being more mindful is through the observation of one’s breath. While this may sound like an easy task, it is much more difficult than you might think. For starters, you can begin with five minutes a day of watching the ‘in and out breath’. This steady awareness helps us tackle difficult emotions more efficiently and allows us to have a better perspective on things, as and when we are faced with them.
Some handy mindfulness techniques..
- Walking awareness: this technique was widely propagated during the time of the Buddha as it is highly portable and can be done on the go. The method entails the user being aware of his/her footsteps so that the attention is focused on the pressure sensations on our feet.
- Mindful Eating: this is another potent method that is highly useful to make ourselves more aware. While this might be difficult to practice during work hours, it can definitely be a handy tool when eating at home or when on a mindfulness meditation retreat.
- Visualisation: this is another method that has been propagated for centuries by various Hindu and Buddhist meditation practitioners. It involves us focusing on a visual image (candle, photo) and centering our awareness on the object for a certain period of time. This technique helps gather our awareness and allows us to feel refreshed in a small period of time.
How does mindfulness help me in real life?
Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between mindfulness and lowered levels of stress. For example, people with a 15 minute daily practice were on average seen to be 46% less likely to face issues related to stress, anxiety and mental fatigue. These numbers are quite startling as they reveal that a practice this simple can greatly influence the way our mind works.
Where to get started?
There are many useful books on this subject that can help us get started into a regular practice. Other than that, it is also beneficial to check out local teachers who have had prior experience of meditation and mindfulness. Lastly, users can also go online and find a teacher that connects with them.
We often tend to take for granted all that we have in our lives. Our health, our home, our family, food in our plates, roof over our heads. And then we always try to get more and more and more. Somehow what we have is never enough.
But sometimes something comes and takes it all. In a split of a second it’s all gone. A hurricane and there’s no more home, no more food, no more water. Our life as we know it is gone, for good. And then how we wish we had it back, all back, just as it was. Nothing else really, that was actually enough.
The simple things are actually the big things. They are the most important. And if we have them now, we owe it to everyone else who don’t, to really appreciate it, and to be grateful for this.
It is all so precious, it is all so fragile.
Blessings to everyone who has been affected by Irma and all and every natural disasters, human disasters, disease, pains and all suffering.
Just a reminder:
You are enough.
You are beautiful.
You are perfect just as you are.
You are as good as everyone else.
You are loved.
You are provided.
You will always have enough.
You are safe.
You can relax now as whatever your problem is, it’s going to be alright.
You can breathe and smile, you are alive, and right now in this present moment ALL IS WELL.
There is no short cut to happiness and there is no “future” miracle possession that will bring it to us.
No matter how much we fill our life with stuff, nothing will ever fill up a bottomless emptiness.
If we are not happy now the “future things” ( house, dream job, Prada shoes, Prince Charming) will not bring it to us.
We need to make ourselves happy right now.
We need first to let go of what makes us unhappy in our life: the job we hate, the not so charming anymore partner , and then choose what is good for us. What kind of relationship do we want, how do we want to spend the rest of our life day after day, which ‘work’ wouldn’t feel like one.
But then we also need to let go of our unhealthy and unhappy thoughts patterns. Nothing from the outside will ever change them, it will give a quick relief but then it’s back to our old ways of thinking.
We need to change our thoughts, we need to reprogram our mind.
This is an internal work we need to do, not the easiest one but the most rewarding.
And to be honest long lasting happiness is actually easier to find than Prince Charming!