Take a look around you and tell me where you are. You may be at work, about to dive into what needs to be done, your friends and family may be around you right now, or you may be simply taking a break, sitting all by yourself and surrounded by nature. But if you peel back just one more layer and go deeper, how much of where you are with your body reflects where you are with your mind and heart? Wherever you are right now, is your mind there too? Are you living from a full, open heart, ready to take in each and every moment as it is right now, or do you find yourself in-between the now, and traveling back to the memory of your past and the anticipation of your future?
For a very long time, I found myself internally time-traveling. I would sit in lectures and be some place completely different- in a memory of my childhood, reminiscing about the “good old days,” or in anticipation of exams and my hopes and dreams for my future. Let’s be honest- we’re bombarded by messages telling us to “be present” wherever we go and yet, we also find ourselves very easily reverting to an autopilot state, internally time-traveling between memories of the past and our anticipation of the future. We even call it “being prepared for what’s to come.”
I’ve learnt this: Being present is our natural state but requires practice, re calibrating our minds, bodies and spirits each and every moment in an attempt to arrive back to this natural set point of who and what we already are. And so, mindfulness is not simply a state of mind, but rather a Gift of Being. It is the recognition that this moment right now is always full and doesn’t need the interpretation of our minds. Being present is not simply a trend, but an active choice in witnessing how our body, breath and being settles in each and every moment. Our healing exists in the simple, daily, moment-by-moment practices of deep breathing, engaging each of our senses fully and recognizing that our immersion in life as it is, frees us from the bonds and tensions of the mind which tells us how it should be. Peace is surrender to this flow and mindfulness offers it wholeheartedly.
When we look at life through the eyes of the heart instead of the narratives of the mind, we recognize one thing- we have what we need right this very moment in time- presence. We make contact with our bodies as we never have before, our vision becomes clearer and the world is colored by a gratitude which wasn’t accessible to us before. Suddenly, we experience tastes which were once foreign to our tongues, we can hear the chirping of the birds, life feels richer and the aromas around us remind us of the utter fullness which this life has to offer.
Our minds can be mind-full or mindful and our choice to access either of these each moment of each day allows us the freedom of Being present or the resistance to what life is offering to us. Now, take a look around you and tell me where you are…
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