Enjoying being in the moment and exactly what it means…

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Being in the moment can be beautiful and very fulfilling. A single word for being in the moment is mindfulness.

Mindfulness, as described by the Oxford dictionary, is described as
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

In the hustle and bustle of busy lives, wearing many hats, rushing on to our next set of duties and responsibilities, accomplishments and checking off our many, never ending to do lists, we could find ourselves on auto-pilot and not fully being in the moment. That leads to being unfulfilled in a task or it may even cause dread to begin it.

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash woman sitting facing the sun silhouette
Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

Being mindful is essentially being in the moment and when we go about our daily routines at home or the office such as (washing dishes, laundry or eating, sending emails) it causes us to do just that–to be in that moment. When we are mindful it compliments our appreciation for life, what we have and also why we’re doing what we are doing. If we’re not in the moment, then our “accomplishing self” is task-driven, therefore we’re on autopilot to get it done. However, try connecting with your senses–for example, when we eat. We can take the time to be appreciate our food visually, indulge in the aroma, and truly be in the moment enjoying the texture, flavor and the delight of our taste buds’ satisfaction. Okay, so I guess you can tell I’m a foodie. LOL.

On a more serious note, it’s the difference between being hearing someone vs. listening. Living vs existing. Feeding yourself vs enjoying a meal. Completing a task vs. living in the satisfaction of your ability to have things to take care of that sustains you.

Being mindful can add value to the important relationships of our lives. As I stated before, listening as hearing someone is to different things. Have you ever been told that you’re not listening? Are you guilty of thinking that you know what someone is about to get to, so you began speaking or finish their sentence? What about checking out of the phone conversation when someone else randomly starts to speak to you in the background? Or, simply having your mind wonder while someone is speaking to you?

We all want to have someone to truly provide a listening ear and sense that someone is truly engaged, hearing, and listening with their mindful, undivided attention. That adds value to the relationship. It builds trust and security in the relationship. I now see things in a whole new light as far as people and interruptions. I’ve learned that interruptions are opportunities to serve others. They called you because they need you, they need a listening ear or feedback. Use opportunities to serve others and be a blessing to others. I used to think–snap back at people when they would be rude. Then I understood that they may be going through something and that it wasn’t personal. Hurting people hurt people. Through my growth, maturity, and wisdom gain. I’ve learned a lot and often times people have come to me and apologized because first of all again, I know its’s not personal, and I’m an empath and not moved by their low vibrations. I’m compassionate and focus on the bigger picture of our encounter. Being in the moment, responding vs. reacting, can make a big difference in your day-to-day mood and mindset and understanding of yourself and the people you deal with as well. Scroll down to check out more on responding vs. reacting. It’s all concerning being mindful, and trust me, it’s valuable info that you can use for self-development.

Responding vs. Reacting

www.thindifference.com/2013/03/a-mindful-difference-respond-vs-react/

Also, here’s a quick bible scripture concerning our listening and reacting…

James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

Here’s a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche that drives my intention home:

“To learn to see- to accustom the eye to calmness, to patience, and to allow things to come up to it; to defer judgment, and to acquire the habit of approaching and grasping an individual case from all sides. This is the first preparatory schooling of intellectuality. One must not respond immediately to a stimulus; one must acquire a command of the obstructing and isolating instincts.”

Take the time on any given day to FEEL, SENSE AND SEE all the beautiful around us. There are people that walk around in and out the homes not taking the time to observe the beauty and blessings that before us. Such as the beautiful sun that rising for us daily, the weather is something EVERYONE notices and talks about. But, take it a steps further what about the sky that’s (at times) looks as though someone painted it, or what about the nature in general, the birds, flowers that bloom. The joy in someone’s smile, the innocence and imagination or the children in the world, the kindness of a strangers opening doors, blessings you to have a nice day, people that go above and beyond to assist you.

Take it all in. It’s here for you to encounter. Be still, quiet the mind and just be. -Katrina Marie

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The great time to practice and learn to be mindful is while you are walking, driving, running, cycling–things of nature that put you in the best state to calm the mind. Engage and take in your surroundings. It also gives way for your intuition development–having you tune in and be receptive, as well as for room for your creativity to flow. Take time out for you and all that you’re blessed with moment by moment, minor or major. It’s hard to be mindful when you’re mind is FULL. Best wishes on your Journey to your best self!

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I’m leaving you with a link to 10 Mindful exercises for you to try out so that you can enjoy your moments..

https://blog.mindvalley.com/stay-present/

Lastly, here’s a spiritual breakdown of the definition of mindfulness:

http://Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation and through other training. Mindfulness is derived from sati, a significant element of Buddhist traditions, and based on Zen, Vipassanā, and Tibetan meditation techniques. Individuals who have contributed to the popularity of mindfulness in the modern Western context include Thích Nhất Hạnh, Herbert Benson, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Richard J. Davidson.

Peace of mind, Joy and fulfillment to you on your precious life journey!

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You Have a Lot of Choices Today, Being Comfortable is Not One of Them!

Photo by John Mark Arnold on Unsplash

We all get comfortable and follow routines that are familiar to us. We wake up, drink coffee, and get ready to take on the day. We go to work the same way, eat lunch at the same place, and drive home listening to the same music. We do all of these things without even realizing we have been on autopilot for hours. What is happening in our brains is not rocket science. Study after study finds that people inherently tend to gravitate toward the known; in other words, we love our little comfort zones. Psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson took on the idea of comfort zones back in 1908. They found that a general state of comfort resulted in fixed results and set levels of performance; however, if participants wanted to enhance their performance, unfortunately, they needed to get a little uncomfortable. This zone is what they called the optimal anxiety zone, and it’s just outside our comfort zones. If ideas of bungee jumping and skydiving are causing you to hyperventilate right now, go find a paper bag to breathe into, and sit down. This is probably not your optimal anxiety zone. So, relax and step away from the parachute.

Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash person on parachute over snow-capped mountains

Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash

No, no, no…The results clearly state that too much stress or anxiety can cause you to shut down. So, if you’re scared of heights, using the optimal anxiety zone theory might look like hiking up a hill or taking an elevator to the top floor of your office building. It’s pushing yourself past your comfort zone but not going to extreme measures. By getting uncomfortable, you prove to yourself that you can handle whatever life throws your way. So, each time you try a new dish, take that hike, or decide to go sliding down a water slide called the vertical blackout, you are sending signals to your brain that stress is okay and new situations aren’t scary.

What if I fail?

What if that new dish tastes awful, that hike was unsuccessful, or you bailed on taking the vertical blackout water slide.  That’s okay, give yourself a break and resolve in your mind that you will try again later. The problem so many people have is they fear failure. No one likes to fail. The word failure conjures up countless flashbacks of moments that were often painful or downright embarrassing. 

However, you must realize that even those moments taught you something valuable. In the book, “Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration,” Ed Catmull says it best:

“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.” 

Maybe the lesson you needed to learn was to study more before a test, take feedback with a grain of salt, or allow plenty of time to prepare for an interview. *Or maybe you learned that you should never put tortilla chips in the oven, because the oil explodes into an angry fireball!  (So, I’ve been told.)   

Photo by Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash Fire extinguisher

Photo by Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash

The lessons we learn have the power to change us for better or worse. By taking control of your mind and seeing even your biggest failures served a purpose, you allow yourself the freedom to step into your optimal anxiety zone and change your life.   

What is one thing that makes you uncomfortable that you will do today? Here are some suggestions to help you begin brainstorming.

1.    Speaking up when you have a new idea in a meeting.

2.    Going to that exercise class that plays your favorite music.

3.    Learning a new language.

4.    Learning a new instrument.

5.    Hiring a life coach!

6.    Going to a new restaurant.

We’re cheering for you!