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How Being Mindful Can Bring Peace

Taking time to become aware of the present moment can bring us peace

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Have you ever really observed yourself and your life? Do you wonder how you got to where you are? Many people are shocked when one day they wake up and 30, 40 or 50 years have gone by and they wonder, what happened to their life.

It’s not uncommon to miss life and all the precious moments where nothing is happening; apart from the noise in our head. It is the way most of us live. Hours, days, weeks and lifetimes can be lost in thoughts of things that are not actually happening apart from in our thoughts. When you think of it like that it sounds crazy doesn’t it?

How often do you really enjoy and engage with the act of doing anything? Walking, driving, washing the dishes, cooking,  all these actions seem to be a means to an end and rushed through as quickly as possible to move on to the next thing, even if the next thing is to sit on the sofa and stare at a tv screen. What’s the hurry to get through life? All those moments are our life. 

Do you ever notice the birdsong, the aliveness of your body, how your thoughts affect you and make you feel, the beauty of any given moment? Probably not. We all seem to be too busy trying to fix life as if everything that happens is a mistake.

When you are caught in the endless cycle of thinking either of the past or future you are missing the stillness and perfection of the moment. We mostly create such an attachment to our thoughts and believe them to be true, when actually they are only true for you and where you are. 

Are your thoughts true? Are they helpful? Do they make you feel good? Or are they running your life and ensuring that you are never at peace? 

Take a step back and notice what is actually happening in this moment. Notice the sounds, smells, and things you can see. Move more deeply into your body and notice the sensations that are always there. When you start to do this on a regular basis it is possible to become aware of your thoughts. This allows you to become aware that you are not your thoughts, but on a deeper level you are the awareness behind them. You are observing yourself.

The one that is observing is different from the one that is thinking. The one observing is neutral, the one thinking is lost and confused, torn between thoughts that have no answer because to a mind that constantly thinks, there is always an alternative that keeps us trapped in the endless cycle of asking more questions. 

Perhaps the present moment seems boring because there is usually nothing happening in it, however, the result of missing the present moment is stress, anxiety, depression, a want for more and a deep dissatisfaction of life. So I suppose the questions becomes, how much do you want peace and what are you prepared to do about it?

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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