Practicing Mindfulness

(Excerpt from Pain, Passion & Purpose )

Sometimes we can make the greatest strides and gain the strongest understanding by breaking things down into their simplest elements. A bustling life full of endless errands can seem overwhelming but in reality our days are really just a series of moments; each moment overflowing with possibility if we can just harness its transformative power. Here’s how:

Joy

Appreciate the now – Keep your mind focused on only this moment. Remember, the past empowers you, the future motivates you, but joy is in the present.

Remember all things come in time – Don’t allow impatience to steal your life away! If we’re distracted by what we don’t have, we can’t fully appreciate the blessings that are right in front of us. Focus on the task at hand in each and every moment and eventually all aspects of your life will be served.

to do list
to do list (Photo credit: mister ebby)

Get clear about what’s important right now – Make to-do lists; number the items in order of importance and then start working your way down the list. By writing down chores you release your mind from going over them a thousand times so as not to forget them. You’re only capable of doing do one thing at a time and doing it well, so allow yourself that luxury. After you’ve given an item your full attention and completed the task, mark it off the list. This serves as a visual reminder that you are actually accomplishing something and not just swamped with an endless array of duties.

Sharpen your senses – Practice immersing yourself fully in whatever activity you’re engaged in.  Give even the most mediocre of tasks your full attention. Become intently aware of your surroundings by focusing on each of your senses, one at a time (touch – sight – smell – sound – taste).  In addition to having a calming effect on your body, you’ll find that your appreciation for even mundane tasks will grow.

Be present with the people you love – Our relationships with others are really the most important part of living and we should always strive to keep that distinction in our minds. By allowing cleaning, grocery shopping or doing the laundry to suck up our most vital energy we’re doing ourselves and everyone around us a disservice. Yes, it can be hard to find a happy balance but our moments of true connection with others are what make it all worthwhile, aren’t they?

attention signUse the power of the present moment – Placing your emphasis on the now doesn’t mean you have to give up having goals. It simply means that you’re making the absolute most out of every moment you’re given. When the now moment gives you the opportunity to work towards achieving a goal, you can give it your utmost attention, just as you have all the other aspects of your life. By being without distraction, you’ll find your time more productive and your nerves much less jangled.

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Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

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