Mindfulness and heart centred living
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing our awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Being mindful calls on us to be fully present in each moment; aware and conscious of where we are energetically, as well as physically, mentally and emotionally. Mindfulness in relationships means we can observe our thoughts, feelings, actions, words and tone and gently move to make changes where they are needed, without punishment or judgement of those we are relating to, or ourselves.
Our subconscious mind and personal perception play a major role in our lives. By becoming consciously aware of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, we can come to understand our inner world. Achieving awareness is a key to acknowledging and understanding our current beliefs and conditioning to recognise what is working well and what is no longer needed. Awareness allows us to observe the triggers and deep wounds that are affecting our relationships and interactions.
Without conscious awareness, our thoughts run on autopilot and subconsciously affect the way we feel and act. It’s estimated we each have between 30,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. If our thoughts are primarily positive, life will be positive. If they are mostly negative, we have our very own internal critic judging and condemning ourselves, others and our experiences all day, every day! By focusing on the present moment through mindful living, we can create conscious awareness and witness our inner dialogue. As we observe our thoughts, we can really come to understand the impact they have on the way we feel about ourselves and our lives.
Through accepting and exploring the emotions that come up, we can allow them to flow rather than repressing or denying them. We are then free to choose to really uncover and make the inner transformation to reprogram our limiting beliefs, let go of old patterns, heal old wounds, feel into our bodies and release past trauma. We can consciously choose to be free of all that is holding us back from stepping into our full potential; to free ourselves from that which is creating blocks between us and our experience of bliss.
It takes courage and commitment to take the inward journey to explore long-held beliefs. We are all born pure; with the capacity to love and trust. It is our experiences in life, particularly through our childhoods, that shape the perspective and beliefs we hold in ways that either leads us toward or away from, our authentic self. Our upbringing and social environment shape our subconscious beliefs and steer us toward circumstances that are consistent with our early experiences. We are conditioned to believe in certain things about ourselves, along with rules and dogmas in our lives.
With commitment and over time, we are able to create new, positive belief systems and heal the wounds that have been holding us back. We become free to open up to a whole new way of living. All of us have the inbuilt propensity to experience pure joy, love and bliss. By accepting our experiences in life and acknowledging the growth that they spur, we each have the opportunity to embrace all that is along our journey. When we live mindfully, we experience our life as we live it. We consciously experience the world through our five senses, thus we really notice what we see, hear, smell, touch and taste. We are able to witness and feel our thoughts and emotions and accept what is in each moment, with kindness and curiosity. We come to recognise ourselves as the creators of our lives. As Sufi poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Mindful living allows us to connect with others in more heart centred ways. With a heart centred approach to our relationships, we recognise our partner, children, family, friends and colleagues as teachers. We can see them as people on our path here to teach us what we are here to learn. As such, we are able to give thanks for the lessons we learn, gently accept our contribution to situations and acknowledge where we have room to grow and learn. The practice of mindfulness positively effects social and emotional skills and qualities, such as the ability to make meaningful relationships, to accept experience without denying the facts, to manage difficult feelings, and to be calm, resilient, compassionate and empathic.