Have you heard the recent “new-age” word mindfulness floating around?
I have been asked to define mindfulness. I’ve been asked to help some who are stressed because they can’t reach mindfulness. I’ve been perplexed with the wonder of where this word mindfulness came from anyway.
When someone asks me about mindfulness I think thoughts like:
- Mindful of what?
- How full is the mind?
- Why would you try to fill your mind with even more anyway?
Clearly, I am confused.
There are many types of meditation activities you can use in your routine to become more centered in your life. Right now, I am going to talk about two.
This is where a facilitator leads you through a visual journey with some purpose. Let go and be free, reduce stress and anxiety, or maybe a Shamanic journey of inner discovery and healing. All very valuable practices used to reach inner peace.
Guided meditation is extremely useful in healing trauma, depression, and self-worth issues. If you are being guided to visualize, feel, or remember, how is this Mindfulness? You are actually being mind-led and releasing the tension of holding on, thus allowing your body to relax, even for just a while.
This is the practice of emptying your mind and concentrating on a single sound in the room, the rhythm of your breathing, or a vibration made by a word. Many people have asked me how to do this and quiet their “monkey brain.” That constant chatter that goes on in your head and the more you want it to stop, the louder it gets.
Only if it would just shut up!
Focused meditation is intended to help you to allow thoughts to come in and then float out as you simply redirect your attention back to your focal point. It’s not a pushing away, pushing down, or pushing out, it’s acknowledging you had a thought and remembering your focal point.
This practice helps you calm your mind and achieve inner peace and serenity. This is a practice of allowing thoughts to flow, emptying your mind while you focus on one thing. It is not mindfulness at all, it is mind-emptiness.
Relax and stop trying to fill your mind. Focus, on a guided meditation or on a chosen focal point and allow thoughts to flow and go. You have the power to choose how you respond and how you use your energy each day. This is a practice of conscious choice and being present in the uniqueness of the moment. Take control, accept responsibility, and be aware that your perspective, response, and results belong to you alone. You know it’s time for even more.
If not now, when?