Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mindfulness vs. Mindlessness


Originally printed here on March 25, 2014

A question I am often asked is, " I've read all the books and articles on changing my life and my self-awareness, but I can’t seem to make it happen." I believe this is a common dilemma in our society that has to be addressed and mastered to achieve fulfillment in one' own self worth.

We live in a world that has become what I call "automatic"! We get up in the morning get the family up and moving, showers, breakfast off to work and school, repeat, repeat, repeat, day in and day out all in a mindless, automatic manner. Our days are on autopilot; we perform tasks and don't put any thought into the process or outcome. It’s even gone as far as physical pleasure where it becomes an act many perform in a mindless state! How sad is that? I believe it is the cause of many infidelities, where one partner seeks to break out of the automatic pilot mode and seek new adventuresome encounters. Sadly many marriages have lost the most valuable asset a couple possesses which is "trust” and end in divorce. How do we break the mold on mindlessness and put thought and passion back into our lives? It’s simpler than most would believe, and can be instituted with little effort and for thought.

So how do we go about being mindful and increasing the consciousness of our mind? A good place to start is by having a better and clearer understanding of it’s meaning.

One of the main reasons I believe people avoid mindfulness is that it is just plain misunderstood and thought to be action intellectuals and eastern religions use for mind control or some other distant weird thought process. In reality it is an action every person in the universe should develop to increase their self-awareness, self-esteem and most certainly their emotional intelligence. Mindfulness is being conscious of your thoughts, actions and deeds, or in other words being knowledgeable of your thoughts. It is a state of being in ones own mind. I like to call it pre-thought and pre-action. It is like a processor in a computer where you programmed yourself to think about what is to be or what it can be. 

When we become mindful of what we are thinking and doing we create clarity of thought and create a focused action. When we have developed our mindfulness with clarity of thought our results are less stressed, better thought-out and easier to institute. When mindfulness is in place automatic goes out the door, creativity increase, problems become clear, and solutions that seemed impossible before are created with ease. Stressed lifestyles can be a thing of the past and families can function and flourish on all levels. Mindful living can be so enjoyable and freeing. Mindlessness is the complete opposite and sets the stage for accidents and mishaps, poor choices in words and deeds and creates a life of just getting by, floating through life in oblivion.

One of the underlying root propellants to mindfulness is our expectations. When our expectations are seated in faith they become positive and our mindfulness takes that path in relation to all reactions that follow. The old adages that "we are what we think we are” and “we are whom we think we are" are very accurate statements in relation to mindfulness. Our thoughts and actions follow the path of what we expect of ourselves. It becomes glaringly apparent how we expect is in direct correlation to how we act and react. Faith over fear is what rockets us to be creative and positive, a doer over a doubter, an optimist over a pessimist. We become a solution, a problem solver, a creator mastering our daily lives in a beneficial and positive manner. Being mindful will free the body of stressful fear.

No matter what path we follow in life mindfulness has the capabilities to alter that path in a positive or negative manner, the choice is ours. I suggest keeping your expectations positive and high, mindful of their path and seated in faith, all of your actions will lead to the self-fulfilling prophecies you have created for yourself. Life will be all that you could ever dream it would be.

“As we express our gratitude, we
must never forget that the highest
appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them." JFK