"We need to be challenged by life in order to awaken. Some think that if life left them alone, they'd really get somewhere with their spiritual life, but that's not the case. It's the challenges that can help to take you into a higher state of consciousness" - Eckhart Tolle
Mindfulness has been on my mind. I think what's at the root of much pain and suffering is the inability to apply mindfulness. We have great ideas, good intentions and a kind heart, then when a challenge, obstacle or even something that just does not sit well appears in our life - either an email, a headline, something someone says at work or even someone who cuts us off in traffic - we are thusly challenged. Without mindfulness practice, the challenge is pushed, choked and forced into submission and we plow through it, ignore it, placate to it or act in various unskillful ways... lashing out on facebook, gossiping, and it only progresses from there into self-sabotage and outright hurtfulness. Because, when we aren't able to take that moment to honor the challenge, respect our feelings and pause for just a brief bit and create the necessary gap between the incessant, addictive stream of thinking to access all-to-valuable information we've cut ourselves off from, we miss the opportunity all together.
The corporate world is a veritable minefield of unconsciousness. If you rest on your laurels for a moment too long, you feel the wrath of those who are running from thought to thought, slaves to their monkey mind. But it's not just in corporate America you see unciousness, it's everywhere, even at your local health food store and most certainly at your neighborhood yoga studio.
Mindfulness is a meditation practice however it's important to note there is a difference from the concept and the actual practice of mindfulness during meditation. Mindfulness as a concept is rooted in a foundation of values or emotional intelligence, specifically I mean how you act, what you do... how you do what you do in a skillful way. A way that does not bring harm to others or yourself, a way that you have applied care to your actions and words. A way that is in line with your higher self and truth. The time to practice mindfulness is always. When you are faced with challenges and you apply mindfulness, you will see instant results, but even after the challenging event has passed you will still need to apply mindfulness because the body responds to stress and it's natural to feel deflated post-stress response as the hormones leave the body. Practice mindfulness when this happens, nurture yourself, take a break from toxic people and surround yourself with words and people who lift you up, have good intentions and are also practicing mindfulness. You don't have to be a yogi or practice Eastern philosophic traditions to be kind and considerate with your words and actions as they relate to yourself and to others.. this is mindfulness.
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