A Mindful Philosphy
I believe we positively transform ourselves, our relationships and our world one mindful moment, one mindful word, one mindful gesture and one mindful action at a time. An act of kindness, a facial expression or tone of voice that communicates "I see you", "I get you", can profoundly lift another in ways we may never be aware of. And then, hopefully, those same people whose humanity has been glimpsed and touched by us, will go on to do the same for others.
What is a Mindful Life?
Mindfulness is a transformative way of responding rather than reacting to the challenges life sends our way. It's a way of slowing down just enough to observe our thoughts, feelings and sensations with interest and curiosity without becoming them. We then have some inner space to decide how we would like to respond rather than react to life's circumstances in the most creative and productive ways. A mindful life allows us to act with choices rather then fixed habits. It allows us to act with intention and to ask ourselves, "What is my goal?
Here's an example of mindful communication. When you are addressing a loved one ask yourself: "What are my words, behaviors, facial expressions, body language and tone designed to do?" Are they intended to get closer or to distance? Are they designed to clarify or confuse? To validate or retaliate? To blame and shame or to take responsibility and problem solve? When you mindfully clarify your goals, the behavior, language, gesture and tone you use are more likely to influence the outcome you desire.
A mindful stance views life as a daily practice. I say "practice" because, like any skill, you have to work at it to get good at it. But the rewards are great. The most contemporary advances in psychology tell us that our brains are plastic, meaning that we can train them to be more happy, healthy, flexible, clear and present with ourselves and others. You can't "fail" at a mindful stance because the moment you notice you are going down an unproductive path -- you can compassionately escort yourself back to a more creative one. This is one of the greatest achievements of mindfulness.
Here is how you can practice: Guided Mindful Meditation by Constance Kaplan.mp3