I didn't really understand anything until I changed. Until I found happiness in my life and myself. Then it was like an awakening. Maybe that sounds a bit cheezy but things are so much clearer now. I don't know how things worked out for me so well. Maybe my determination, strength, will, just something inside of me. Back then I never even knew I was strong. When you are at that point in your life you can't seem to find anything great about yourself or life in general. But the truth is we all have greatness inside of us and most of us don't even know it. It's funny I am not even ashamed to say that I cried. I know now that it's ok. It's not a sign of weakness. I had to fall into the deepest hole and feel like I had nothing left to build myself back up. Every time I fall and get back up, I feel stronger. I feel like my weaknesses have helped me develop my strengths. I feel like now I am living one of the greatest lives a person can have. I feel like I am incredibly happy and thankful. You can't beat that.
So you might be thinking, what does all this have to do with mindfulness? Well I guess you could say it has everything to do with it. Mindfulness is basically concentration. Another definition I love is:
"Mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness. It is cultivated by purposefully paying attention to things we ordinarily never give a moment's thought to. It is a systematic approach to developing new kinds of control and wisdom in our lives, based on our inner capacities for relaxation, paying attention, awareness, and insight."
This definition was written by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a very famous person when it comes to mindfulness. In order to change my life I had to be aware of what was causing me distress in the first place. I had to learn how to relax. I guess you could say I had to learn a lot of things. I pretty much had to learn about myself. I had to get deep inside myself to realize what was going on. Because it seems the reason I had no idea why I was crying before was because I wasn't even connected with myself. I pushed everything aside. I didn't face anything that was bothering me. Mindfulness has allowed me to have a deep connection and liking for myself. I understand myself and see my strengths and weaknesses. To be aware of what bothers me and how to cope with it. That is what will prevent me from ever getting to the point I was at before. When I think of mindfulness I think of one of the simplest things. And that is to just realize I am breathing. After I started being aware of that I realized I had never paid attention to that before. When we push everything aside we miss the things that are right in front of us. Beauty, people we love, just all the small things that really make us happy.
If you look at these pictures do you notice the difference in me not just physically but mentally? Do I appear more confident? Stronger? Not just physically but mentally?
Now I did say this was mindfulness made simple. I hope it gives you a better understanding but I do also understand if it still doesn't make since. It might not of made since to me before. Just try feeling your breath. Being aware of yourself. Feeling your chest rise and fall. Feeling the air move in your nose and back out. Just try listening to the sounds around you. Without naming what the sounds are just listen. Hold a feather in your hand and feel it. You don't have to describe it. You just have to experience the feeling. Maybe these tricks will make things a bit simpler. It's really just paying attention. Kids pay attention all the time because everything is new. They are exploring and figuring things out. Once we get to be an adult we pick up the feather and just throw it to the side and say "yeah, that's a feather." We kinda stop experiencing and noticing things.
So can you feel your breath? Does it make you feel different? More relaxed? More Focused?