Living mindfully is all about living in the present moment in a place of non judgment and acceptance- this takes time and patience. You cannot expect to achieve this after an evening seminar, a thought provoking book, a weekend workshop, a teacher certification..and no, a trip to India will not bestow enlightened status either. In fact you cannot be looking for it at all, it just happens gradually, in its own time, guided by an invisible force that leads the way. So, How to step back so mindfulness can step in? Here are 5 tips to help you live more mindfully.
- Let go of expectations. Though every action leads to a reaction, when you let go of expectations you are not placing a hope on a intended reaction. Instead, during interactions, do not think about what you may or may not get out of the exchange or feel that you need to protect/defend your point of you. Simply allow the exchange to unfold. Replace expectation and enjoy the experience.
- Stop judging. A judgment keeps you trapped in duality – right/wrong, good/bad, better/worse. It also keeps you tethered to expectation where you risk disappointment. If you do something better than someone else you will get a higher reward: more money, increased status, a promotion, more friends… Replace judgment with observations.
- Step way from consumerism. Consumerism equates with needing more to satisfy the ego. The ego is never satisfied with what is. It pushes you to acquire more so you can feel that you are more somehow. This does not mean you need to deprive yourself in any way. Instead, choose to fill your heart with gratitude. Replace needing more with having what you need.
- Embrace contradictions. It makes sense to want clarity. However, the issue arises when clarity pushes you into an “all or nothing” binary mindset. For instance, you can be successful, smart, disciplined, loving in one area of your life and ignorant, weak willed, sneaky and manipulative in another. To bring polar opposites of black and white together to create the colour grey accept all parts of your multifaceted self. Replace “all or nothing” thinking with acceptance of all that is.
- Don’t get discouraged. Give yourself a second, third, fourth, fifth…. chance when you make a mistake. When learning basic skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic you don’t quit after a setback. You do what is needed to learn to read, write and do your sums so you can function in the world. Learning to live mindfully is a skill that is just as important. When you find yourself giving in to worry and fear, get curious about new ways to move into the here and now present tense. Replace discouragement with curiosity. ….and then perhaps, the more you can let go of expectations, stop judging, step away from consumerism, embrace contradictions and limit discouragement, you may notice that you are spending more and more time enjoying the present moment without even trying.
Allow yourself to step back so mindfulness can step in
To learn more, join me for my next event in Montreal “How meditation and mindfulness can help” Info session to learn more about meditation and mindfulness. Thursday January 17, 2019 7.30 to 8.30 pm 2962 Rue Lapierre in Lasalle. RSVP to reserve your spot Here Namaste,
Nicole Rolland is the author of “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)