Over the past few weeks, my speaking engagements, coaching sessions and problem solving has really gotten back to the basics. What are the basics? Mindfulness. The universe is really trying to tell me something. The basics are not basic. Mindfulness is the foundation for a life well-lived, and is the teaching that is most needed in the world.
So here we go!
What Is Mindfulness?
I like to describe mindfulness as the practice of being present, purposeful and internally powerful. Let’s break each of those down a bit more.
Presence is your ability to live in the current moment, or the now. Now is the only time you ever really live, but when your mind is in the future or the past, you’re missing the perfection of it. There are no worries, doubts or fears in the present moment. The present moment is always perfect. Why? Because it is. Rejecting the perfection of the present moment is like rejecting the sun. You can run from it and hide, but that doesn’t make it go away.
Being purposeful is about being truly authentic to yourself. Your desires, talents and dreams are linked to live the most perfect life aligned with the reason you were born. When you fully allow and express your highest desires, talents and dreams in the world, the more the world benefits, and the easier it will be to remain in the present moment.
Internal power is understanding and mastering your thoughts, emotions and response to what life delivers for you. Everything is working for your benefit – for growth. If you try to avoid loss, pain, challenges and obstacles you will struggle, and you will live a life full of stress. Richard Rudd, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, says that “sometimes we must let life cut us.” It’s the bumps and bruises during the course of our lifetime that helps us grow into the most powerful version of ourselves. By mastering our thoughts, emotions and our responses to life, our internal power will help us live in the present moment and to live the most purposeful life possible.
By developing these qualities you will begin to live more fully in the NoW. Here’s my description of the NoW:
- No Waiting – you’ll take inspired and intentional action toward your purpose without hesitation or procrastination.
- No Worrying – your worries, doubts and fears will diminish as your practice evolves. Worry is about the past and future. There are no worries, doubts and fears in the present moment.
- No Wanting – Wanting is a sign that you are living for and in the future. There are certainly times when you can plan a path, but to live for the future is giving up the joy of the present moment.
Mindfulness is your greatest weapon to experience the greatest levels of wealth, success and happiness in every area of life. Mindfulness aids you in owning your path, never being a victim.
What Does It Take To Practice Mindfulness?
I’m going to paraphrase and manipulate something that another one of my favorite spiritual teachers, named T. Harv Eker, says: It’s better to do weird stuff and be joyful than to be cool and miserable. Harv says the same thing about money and being rich, but I’m changing it for my own purposes.
Being mindful takes a willingness and ability to stop the chaos in your life, to slow the amount of activity, and to take some time to get introspective. It takes being willing to take pauses, step out of the conditioned life that most people are living, and to choose joy and wealth from a responsive state instead of living a programmed, reactionary life.
To live the most powerful life possible you must be willing to slow down now in a world that encourages you to speed up now to eventually slow down later. Living a mindful life sometimes feels like seeing what everyone else is doing, and then doing the opposite.
Are you willing to slow down and see what’s really under the hood so that we can supercharge it? Are you willing to do things which will cause you immediate discomfort because of the newness? Are you willing to see what’s really holding you back? If so, keep reading!
Daily Activities to Practice Mindfulness
There are many things that you can do to promote a life of mindfulness. I’m going to provide my top 3: meditation, shadow work, and creative visualization.
Set time aside at least once per day to sit in complete silence, stillness and if possible, darkness. Watch the chaos in your mind and body. Observe your thoughts and emotions. Once you become comfortable observing them without participating in them and allowing them to consume you, your ability to be present will become more powerful.
Practice emptiness, which means emptying yourself and letting go of all thoughts, emotions and identifications. Continue to increase the amount of time you spend meditating each day as you become more comfortable.
Most people are avoiding their deepest fears, worries and doubts. Most are trying hard to avoid feeling, too. That’s why there’s so much addiction and distraction in people’s lives. In order to be able to be present you must be willing to feel. You must be willing to feel whatever surfaces, and that includes fear, shame, anger, guilt, or whatever other emotions we try to avoid. The answer to overcoming the avoidance of these emotions is to feel them on purpose. While meditation is emptying yourself of thoughts and emotions, shadow work is intentionally surfacing them so that you can proactively heal them.
If you’re afraid of losing everything, feel like you have. If you’re afraid of being alone, feel like you are. If you are afraid of failure, feel like one. Allow these feelings to surface and consume your body. You’ve run from them for too long – and it didn’t work. Face them and feel them and they’ll begin to naturally dissolve, and you’ll begin to get more emotionally courageous. The only way to become more present is to be able to feel without the need to numb. This requires a healthy relationship with emotion, and a healthier relationship with emotion can be built through shadow work.
Get super clear about exactly what YOU want to create in the world. Cast aside any comparison, programming or conditioning about what you’re “supposed to” want. That’s just being a lemming, not authentic. Once you’re clear, use your imagination and allow yourself to dream about your vision. Believe it to be possible. Feel that it’s already true.
Let go of desiring a better life, needing more and obsessing about future outcomes. Allow your vision and your imagination to consume you so powerfully during your creative visualization that your current life evaporates. Allow your mind, body and soul to fully bring the future to the present moment. As you practice creative visualization your being will begin to bring your dreams to life.
Living Your Best Life
With these three practices and as you see the power of your presence, how you perceive yourself will become more secure, adequate and significant. You will become more certain and confident within yourself, and less reliant on external circumstances to provide for you. You will become more courageous as a human being.
And most important, you will truly find out who you really are: a powerful creator of your outcomes and your own reality. And along the way you will find a deeper sense of your own divine and eternal nature.
All of this will create more wealth, success and happiness in your life.
And all you need to do is be willing to abandon who you are right now for the prospect of a more powerful you. Are you willing to find your true superpower?
This post was previously published on Mike Kitko’s blog and is republished on Medium.
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