it's become clear this is the plight of the human condition, to never feel satisfied. to always want more. to always be reaching forward or stuck in the past. to want things to be different. to always feel as though we are not enough. to always be looking for the flaws in others and "the system". seeking out, identifying and discussing what is wrong with ourselves and the world around us.
to always feel like we are "waiting" to be happy.
the thing about choosing happiness is that in many instances, it takes effort. it takes the effort of a conscious choice. of placing our awareness on something other than what our mind jabbers on about. it certainly helps if we are able to place our attention on that which we have to be grateful for. it is very true that being grateful is in many ways, the cornerstone of happiness. maybe we spend a day, a week, a month, making a point, to point this out to ourselves... recognizing the little things that make life so amazing.
you know, those things that are really important.
if you've made this pledge to yourself at any point in your life, you've probably done it more than once. now don't get me wrong. there are plenty of us that would consider ourselves, that are "happy". even as i write this, these days find me a stay at home mom, in the throws of some major toddler trials.
even if my humanness means i don't always act like it ;)
i have come to understand his is the way it's meant to be. we are built to be challenged. to doubt. to stumble. to fall. to get back up. to learn from our experiences (even if it is over and over again), to change from them,
to move forward...
the irony in all of this?
to do it, to change, to grow..
we must learn to find stillness.
in stillness we may discover exactly what will make us happy. our calling, our passion, our purpose.
and in the deepest, quietest corners of that that stillness, we also discover that the stillness,
is all that really matters.
the practice of stillness, aka meditation, aka sitting still and quieting the mind in this crazy world, is becoming more widely referred to/known as mindfulness. while this may typically thought of as something you need to actually sit still and empty your mind, in order to achieve, that's not actually the case at all.
the practice of taking a few moments in actual seated meditation is something that really does make the biggest different in my life personally, yet it is something i can honestly say i don't do a whole lot of, though these days i've been slightly more diligent. sitting can be difficult. finding a quiet time and place can easily feel impossible. and let's talk about quieting down that mind?? WHEW! that all sounds like a lot of effort.
find a thoughts on creating a simple meditation practice here and here...
of course it's not easy, but it is totally doable. i've realized it's pretty much always that voice in my head telling myself i have something else to do or that someone else needs that time that keeps me away from it and making it out to be a much bigger deal than it is... i've also realized a crucial step in the practice of mindfulness.
the awareness of the voice in general.
the somewhat extreme challenge of sitting still, does explain what a dramatic positive change it has, making life feel infinitely more easeful and joyful, since, as we've heard, "if it doesn't challenge, it doesn't change". meditation does get easier with time.. (and harder, and easier.. ), however, it's the practice of mindfulness you may practice weaving into your life without ever plopping your butt on a meditation cushion.
it doesn't require quiet or space, but allows you to create your own.
mindfulness is a mental state of placing our awareness on the present moment. of beginning to pay attention, to really connect to the world and to the people around us, but most importantly to ourselves. we often use the practice of focusing on the breath in an attempt to separate ourselves from our mind chatter to practice mindfulness, just as we would in what we refer to as meditation. in fact one could argue, that even if we are not quietly sitting still, but instead physically moving and surrounded by chaos, if we are able to focus on the breath and be fully present, fully aware, we are in fact in mediation. some people reading this might say that mindfulness and mediation are the same thing and i would say that in many instances, i would have to agree. for the purposes of this post i simply wish to convey how the practice mindfulness is actually very simple and it can be done during any activity.
it's so simple. there is only one thing you really need to do to be mindful, to meditate, to find stillness, whatever you want to call it.
yup, that's it, just come back to the breath.
whatever you are doing, wherever you are doing it.
remember that the breath will always lead you to the truth. back to your real, honest to goodness truest and highest self.
the only one like it.
the one that was meant to be, born with the birthright to be...
when we practice mindfulness on a regular basis, it can seem almost magical how thing begin to feel easier, we begin to feel more grateful, to feel HAPPIER AND MORE CONTENT. the reason for this is simple. the breath is our connection to our true self. to source, the divine, god, whatever you wish to call it, whatever that means to you. it is life force energy, it connects us to everything and everyone, to spirit, angels, guides, whatever you with to call them :) it/they guide us on our journey. hold our hand gently on our walk.
and if we choose to follow. if we choose to listen.
we are choosing happiness.
here's a little link love to learn more about practicing mindfulness in your daily life.
"five steps to mindfulness."
"7 easy ways to be mindful everyday"
"24 ways to be mindful all day, every day." ;)
just be with the breath friends.