I’d like to come up with a new word for mindful. It seems to be at the tip of every self-help guru’s tongue. Even the guy on the milk crate at the entrance to the subway clamors for us to be more mindful.
Sometimes it is all about meditation, sometimes it is about practicing yoga, sometimes it is about buying a new remote control that will automatically dim the lights when you play the Lord of the Rings.
Here is the thing: mindfulness itself is just about being in the present moment. You don’t actually have to buy anything. It doesn’t take any time. It is just being.
Imagine if we were perfectly mindful. We would all be focused and content with where we are. How could we be otherwise? We are alive and at any given moment being alive is monumental. We would also have the focus to get work done, to be with our families and to live richly.
We aren’t perfectly mindful; instead, our minds constantly run around in circles, thinking about the future and the past. The mind reaches for anything to be distracted from the moment.
Even the Dalai Lama isn’t perfectly present. In his words: “From early morning until I go to bed and in all situations of life, I always try to check my motivation and be mindful and present in the moment.”
Note the word try
That is okay. Mindfulness is a journey, not a destination.
We carve out little victories of presence in our days of chaos, over time we have a few more victories and a bit more presence.
But why do we care? We go along living our lives in perfect chaos and then someone says “be more mindful.” It is practice and work and we have to think differently so why bother?
Because it helps us live more fully.
These moments of presence give us the power to live our lives on purpose. They give us the space to start choosing how we react to the stimuli around us and we can start living the way we want to. We can improve our relationships, influence our children, enhance our professional lives, and feel better about what we do.
Being present is the first step toward everything else. It is the practice that unleashes possibility of what we want for ourselves, our friends and family, our world.
The choice is completely yours – do you want to live in chaotic drift or live on purpose. If you prefer chaos don’t change anything if you prefer purpose the first step is to just take a deep breath.
Originally published at www.reveallife.co