Mindfulness for the win!
"Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience"
The first book I ever read on mindfulness was "Wherever you go, there you are" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It was a superb introduction to the practice of taming our sometimes restless and self-destructive minds. This is where I first learned the term 'beginner's mind.' In short, it's like taking off the self-limiting blinders we create throughout our life and instead, seeing and experiencing our world with a fresh pair of eyes and an open mind.
Taming my mind was a struggle at first. However, it was well worth the climb toward freedom from negative thinking while recognizing and building upon the unlimited potential inside of me. I made a commitment to myself. No longer would I be a victim of my own restrictive and downright ugly thinking and actions toward myself or others. I chose to treat others and myself with more compassion and kindness. I say this a lot in my posts, but it truly was life changing!
My life started becoming more enjoyable and more worth living once I was able to unpack and get rid of any old misguided beliefs or limitations I was putting on myself. Past trauma can get in the way and be very tough to process. I was able to recognize and understand the dark but very real experiences of my past through the benefits of talk therapy and cognitive behavior therapy. Letting go of past trauma and limiting beliefs has been the ultimate reward for making a committed effort to improve my quality of life. So worth it!
To be clear, mindfulness is not meditation, although they are two sides of the same coin, and the benefits of meditation are endless too! Mindfulness is awareness in the present moment. It's a way to live life without allowing negative people, situations or thoughts to throw us off balance. Mindfulness puts us fully in the driver seat and gives us permission to say to ourselves, "I am going to make the most out of today. I am not going to allow negative thinking or other people bring me down. I owe it to myself to enjoy my life more."
At first, it can be really tough to train ourselves to live more mindfully with a renewed vigor for life. I found it gets much easier and, I cannot stress this enough, it is SO worth it! Much of it involves simply reframing my thoughts. If you do not practice mindfulness throughout your day already, I encourage you to give it a go! Just like mediation, the benefits are endless.
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