Benefits of Daily Mindfulness Practice
Those who know me have heard it before. It is a topic I passionately believe in, for myself and for just about everyone who exists in this unpredictable world we live in. So easy it is to go astray from the pure state of simplicity we are born into. How did it all get so complicated, so overwhelming? In our fast paced, multi-tasking, project-jumping lives, it’s no wonder we encounter anxiety, mood imbalance, discontent, and quick fixes to alleviate the discomfort. I see the cycle taking its toll with so many people in my work. It manifests in different ways: anxiety disorders, addiction, relationship demise, inability to let go, insomnia, physical ailments, and on it goes. At the core of all this is a profound Loss of Self; something fundamentally “off-center”. Many of the people I work with can sense this, but cannot seem to quite get back on track, until they finally commit to working from the inside out. We can look at many external factors and try to make changes, but if its long term stability and peace we are looking to achieve, the change must begin internally. What am I actually talking about? Accessing the pure & powerful mind. Letting go of the distracting external stimuli and attuning to the authentic self, the voice inside. Through stillness and clarity of mind, we do know which way to go. For centuries many cultures have valued the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices. By tuning inward we become empowered and experience the world from a place of ease. How might life be if you had:
Better decision-making skills
Full acknowledgement & acceptance of your needs
Compassion (for yourself!)
A feeling of safety from trusting in yourself
Elimination of Denial from your life
Ability to manage all that comes your way
Recognizing and letting go of guilt
The ability to be less reactive; to Pause n see the options
Solutions become clear in the stillness
Improved self esteem
Creativity (yes even financial solutions may become evident)
Health benefits that range from immunology to cardiovascular to digestive health and on and on. The mind-body connection is so powerful
So many of the answers in life are deep within. We just need to shut up and listen, or more eloquently put: create a sacred space in which to allow your unique wisdom to surface… I won’t go into the array of methods of meditation. It is easily accessible as this becomes more and more of mainstream topic today. But I will say that the concept of meditation needs to be clarified as I see many people becoming intimidated at the mention of the word. This need not be a formal or restraining activity. It can be done in many forms: walking, eating, etc. Yoga is an intense form of it. I would rather refer to it as Centering. It need be only 15 minutes a day. As one becomes more practiced, the state of mind can be accessed more readily.
Surprise: Meditation is not drifting off to something relaxing just before going to sleep! It is an awake moment. Peaceful but wide awake! All & everyone can be doing this in their lives. Of course, as a therapist, I regard this as an enhancement to the therapeutic process. Major “stuff” will come up during these moments. In therapy, we can make sense of it all and integrate the many parts we all have within us. A word about these “parts” – I call it fragmentation: we all have many “parts” of ourselves: from inner child to compensating adult. An important task in therapy is to find out who lives in there, get to know and recognize these parts, so we can fully accept and integrate them. So often clients report a sense of void or disconnection as they operate on a false self system. Self awareness is the very essence of Mindfulness. I do not say that lightly. It takes some courage and effort to commit to the raw introspection of thoughts and feelings. And it’s what you do with these findings that determine change. I love helping people to feel more authentic, more competent, and ultimately more connected to the one thing that we can depend on in life: ourselves. I look forward to seeing more and more people give priority to this life altering practice that is available to everyone.