“If you were to take a moment to breathe; or to close your eyes; or even just count to ten after receiving some kind of stimulus from the outside world? How might your day or year or life change? How might it make all the difference?”
The pause is where our power lays.
And I think that if you just take a micro moment to pause before mindlessly reacting, & just allow yourself some space to clear your mind, to be in the present moment, to recalibrate, you then allow yourself room to accept, to then decide how you want to respond; to navigate in a way that supports your intention of pursuing growth so that you can flourish into your true authentic & higher self.
Our power lies between the stimulus & our response…and to cultivate this power, I think it requires a sense of awareness; an awareness that can be achieved through paying attention to the moment right in front of you; just really noticing everything as it is and observing it with a non-judgmental mind.
Mindfulness & Attention
Paying attention is one of the most important components to what mindfulness is about.
It’s tuning into life and really noticing what is occurring within and around you in the present moment.
It’s attending to (a thought, a body sensation, emotions, feelings) whatever is happening right here, right now.
And then when you integrate mindfulness meditation into the mix, it only enhances your capacity to be more attentive to your current moment. Because in meditation, (a formal practice of mindfulness) it allows for you to really press pause on the world & find stillness to focus entirely on your breath, body, and the physical environment around you.
We may still be facing the Covid, experiencing lockdowns and economic uncertainty, but there is no reason you can’t integrate some new healthier habits (like paying mindful attention to the here & now) into your daily routine. In fact, I highly encourage you too, especially if this year ends up looking anything like 2020…
But you may be wondering…
“Ok so how does paying attention to things like your breath & body help you feel more at ease?”
“How can mindfulness really help with what’s happening in the world?
“Why would I want to be mindful if it’s going to require me to pay more attention to this scary crap?
If these are some thoughts or questions you have, I have some perspective for you —-
When paying ATTN to something in the present moment, like your breath, it allows for you to become more aware. It allows for you to be able to slow down enough, to notice such processes that are occuring right here, right now.
So in the example of using the breath, you’re able to fully experience and notice how the air comes in through your nose, and out. And then continuing on with this awareness, you can start to explore deeper. How are you shoulders? Jaw? Is it clenched or relaxed? Are you breathing too fast or too slow? Are you feeling stressed or calm? How’s your belly? Empty or full?
And when you do this, your awareness or attention to your breathe and body, opens you up for an opportunity to create any changes that may be deemed necessary at the moment. So for instance, if you needed to slow down your breathing, you’re now able to do this.
Comparing this process to real world situations, you can see that when you practice mindfulness, and it becomes a habit, you’re readily able to shift your focus away from a certain stimulus when you notice something is off within you (like your breathe or body) so that you can pause, regulate yourself, and find your center again.
This can help also with the problems of today’s world because you’re more aware of your thoughts and emotions that are taking place in the present moment. And this awareness will help you to experience these thoughts and emotions in a way that supports your wellbeing. So if & when something tries to take you off course, you can catch yourself and decide if you want to move forward reacting, or responding with choice.
Mindfulness—that ability to pause; to pay attention to your present reality, essentially puts you back in power.