Mindfulness


I needed a little lesson in mindfulness because I've been thinking too hard on what the future holds with the fellowship and my classes next semester. I've been in this weird freak out place when I got my book list for next year and they were serious about me taking Education Law. I have lots of lawyer friends and family but law is their strong point, not mine. Once upon a time, I thought it was, but it's NOT. And then I've been worrying about what Amelia' early intervention schedule will be, if it was even approved by the city/state, whatever, and I've been worrying about the weather changing our plans and my family and I traveling it.
All these things that I have no control over, that are in the future or in the past and there's nothing to be done by me that would change the outcome at this moment in time. I also worry that if I sign myself up for the substitute teacher list for the city, I could be called out on a moment's notice and Amelia wouldn't be enrolled in daycare to go to, which is a conundrum since she needs to be at home for EI sessions I think....
Okay, you get it, thinking about things that will eventually work themselves out and me stressing over them isn't creating solutions. One of the reasons I was drawn to Shane, even when he gets on my last nerve is that he completely has mindfulness understood. He refuses to stress. Flat out refuses. He finds that stress shows lack of faith in God. This puts me at the defensive a lot because I feel I'm the only one concerned about things. But truthfully, I just need to practice mindfulness.
So it is my lesson to practice today. I went to my trusty Daily Om site and searched articles on the subject. This was my favorite (written in 2004).

Liberation In A Moment
Mindfulness Meditation: Wherever You Go, There You Are

Where is your mind right now? Is it here in the present, reading these words? Is it in the future, with bills needing to be paid? Or in the past, thinking about tasks that are long finished? The mind has long been regarded as slippery beast, being compared in some yogic texts to a monkey that leaps from tree to tree, impossible to catch. Too often do we move through our days thinking about the next thing we need to accomplish, or criticizing ourselves about some perceived imperfection in the past. Far too rarely do we allow ourselves to focus on the present, on where we are in the moment, to simply be.

For ages, mindfulness has been known to be a precursor to enlightenment. We learn from the yogi sages and masters of Buddhist meditation the benefits of a controlled and focused mind. Of course, the best part about this ancient technique is that it can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Sit back, and realize where you are and what you're doing. Take a deep breath and clear your mind. Release the events of the past. Put the worries of the future out of your mind. Concentrate on your breath, inhaling for the count of four, holding for two, and exhaling for four again. Look around you, and again focus on where you are and what you are doing. Be in that place, without judging it. Concern yourself not with why you are there, only the fact that you are there, in this moment. Breathe and be ok with that. Be present in this moment and every moment of your day. Realize that you are free.

It's simple exercises like these that can permanently change your life for the better. Take a moment today to learn more about how you can be in a more mindful and peaceful state by clicking on the link below. Here, Jon Kabat-Zinn opens the doors to the world of meditation in his simple, yet compelling book, "Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life." Enjoy the book, or just enjoy this moment. Remember, this time is yours. Take it.

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