by Mark Ivar Myhre on April 22, 2012

Mindfulness is a tool to help you experience ‘the power of now’.  And since ‘right now’ is all we have,  anything we can do to be in the present moment is a good thing, right?

For starters, here’s what you might want to be asking yourself:

Am I present?  Am I showing up in my reality?  Am I here, am I awake?  These are all legitimate questions.  They’re also loving, honoring, and respecting questions.  The more I question myself, the more I love myself.  So the very act of asking these questions is also an act of loving myself.

Just by attempting to be mindful, I am honoring and valuing and loving myself.

That in itself is a good enough reason to practice mindfulness.  But it gets even better. Practicing mindfulness also makes me more ‘present’ in my reality.  And the more present I am… (the greater my presence) then the more powerful I can be, the more alive I will be, and the more I can feel what I want to feel.

You could call it ‘freedom with responsibility’.  That’s my goal, anyway.  And if you think that’s a worthy goal, and you’d like to be more mindful, too, then I’ve got some great news.

“There’s An App For That”

I friend of mine recently developed a really cool app that helps you be more mindful of what you’re thinking and feeling at various times throughout the day.  Her name is Ronit Herzfeld, and you can go to her website at http://ronitherzfeld.com to find out all about it.

Why should you check this out?

Because to me, mindfulness means giving attention now so I don’t have to pay attention later.

“Giving attention to what?” you might ask.  Giving attention to your state of being.  To be more aware of yourself.  And to become more aware of your state of being, it starts with noticing what your thoughts and feelings are at a given moment of time.  (Preferably, at this moment of time!)

Mindfulness means to not be on automatic pilot, but rather to bring conscious awareness to your self.  Being aware of the self.  What better way to start valuing yourself is there, than to be aware of yourself?

In the truest sense of the word, I believe that’s what mindfulness is – an act of valuing yourself.   It’s how you start building personal value.

Applying The Concept Of Mindfulness

First it starts with noticing what’s going on with myself.  Perhaps by keeping the following questions in mind:

  • What am I focused on?
  • How am I focusing on it?
  • What am I thinking?
  • How do I feel?
  • What’s going on in my body?   Am I tense?  Am I relaxed?

And if you want to get really gutsy, you could always add in:

What stories am I telling myself right now?  What stories am I acting out of?  What stories are influencing my behavior?

In other words, what are my ‘unspoken truths’?  What beliefs and attitudes am I acting out of right now?  What assumptions are running my life?

So if you really look at it, the rabbit hole goes pretty deep.  You can take your mindfulness as deep as you want to go, and you’re not likely to ever hit the bottom.

You could even do what I try to remember to do, which is to question my assumptions on a regular basis.  I’ve found this to be one of the best ways to spur and spark my growth and change.

I’ve also found mindfulness to be a bit confronting at times, since there’s been plenty of things I didn’t want to look at about myself.  And plenty of things I didn’t want to feel about myself.  But you can take this to the bank:

The more I address the uncomfortable parts of me, the easier it is to grow and change.  The more I look at what I don’t want to look at… the more I feel what I don’t want to feel… then the more freedom (with responsibility!) I experience.  And the more alive I feel and the more powerful I become.

Get The Most Out Of Mindfulness

The key to making mindfulness work for you involves using all your senses – rather than just thinking about what’s going on.   What am I seeing?  What am I hearing?  What am I smelling?  What am I tasting?  What am I feeling?

Also, using your imagination.  What am I imagining?  What images are in my head?  What am I projecting?  What am I expecting?  What am I desiring?

Again, you can take mindfulness as deep as you want.

And you can always start with feeling your state of being, rather than trying to conceptualize it.  Feel it as sensuously as possible.  Feeling it, rather than explaining it or defining it or defending it or denying it or discounting it or rationalizing it or nobilizing it or whatever else you can come up with, that doesn’t involve feeling.

As you can see, there’s lots of ways to work with mindfulness.  I only learned of the concept of mindfulness about five years ago.  When I first heard about it, it was like – oh yeah, doesn’t everybody do that?

Apparently not.  We get so wrapped up in pretending what we see in this world is real, that we forget where the real realness is.  Our two eyes only look outward.  Nobody taught us to look inside; to honor our own thoughts and feelings and desires and all the other stuff going on inside ourselves.

Mindfulness – synonymous with awareness – stands as the first step to changing those thoughts and feelings from ones that hurt us and limit us, to ones that uplift us and inspire us and allow us to think and feel as we chose.

It starts with mindfulness, which can be the first step to change.  So again, I encourage you to check out Ronit’s website at http://ronitherzfeld.com.

Because a big part of loving and accepting yourself involves knowing what you’re loving and accepting.  And a big part of change involves knowing what needs to be changed!

{ 1 comment }

Ms. L. Carmel April 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Hi! Mark,

As Always, You Give Great Advice! Keep Up The Wonderful Work You Do!


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