Too often, as we move through our daily lives, we pack more than we need — and I’m referring to mental baggage. No matter where we’re going or what we’re doing, we allow our minds to run rampant and never stop. Recent research shows that humans tally more than 6,000 thoughts each day. Those thousands of thoughts are an irrefutable consequence of our society’s obsessive need to be busy and distracted.
Yet if we don’t stop, even occasionally, from our obsessive mental planning, rehashing and cataloguing, we become disconnected and removed from a source greater than us. Instead of busily looking for answers outside of ourselves, and relying on distractions, stimulants, materialism and other external influences that we believe will give us meaning, we all have the ability to become more awake, present and aware — and in our awareness, to transcend limited thoughts and beliefs and raise our consciousness.
Practicing Mindfulness is a way to reign in the random thoughts swirling through our minds. It holds us in present moment awareness. As we stay focused on the present, we’re able to look more deeply into what we’re actually feeling in that moment. Mindfulness opens our minds so that we can see with total awareness.
By attaining this state of complete awareness, we can remain observant of our thoughts and feelings with acceptance and non-judgment. This is when we’re in a pure state of mind, and it’s in this state that we can guide ourselves wisely. With more heightened awareness, we can participate in life as grounded, sensitive human beings. This means that everything we do is done with a conscious awareness of how we’re doing it. Therefore, we become more thoughtful, kind, compassionate, sensitive, creative and attuned.
The challenge is training our minds to stop — really stop. The mind is prone to wander out of the present moment. But the more we train it to stay in the present and the more we move away from the busy-ness in our heads, the better we become at utilizing Mindfulness to achieve higher-order thinking skills.
Put these principles into practice to live more consciously:
1. Strengthen your present-moment awareness muscle. The more present you are, the more aware you are, and the more aware you are, the more present you are. It keeps evolving from there. When practiced consistently, Mindfulness can sharpen your awareness so that you can see beyond what lies on the surface.
2. Surrender your ego-driven self. Learning to value slowing down and quieting the mind means that you must refrain from manipulating the world, or your thoughts about your world, to feed your ego. Get out of your own way and out from under the drama you create. Don’t let your “small self ” run the show. Aspire to heighten your awareness, raise your consciousness and continue on the path of spiritual development with the veils of falseness lifting one by one.
3. Feed your spirit. When you feel a type of emptiness, or ennui, that’s your spirit telling you something, something extremely important. But, if instead of going deeper within to find out what’s troubling your spirit, you choose a type of distraction or a way to anesthetize yourself, you aren’t tending to your spirit. Feeding your spirit can mean anything from meditating, practicing yoga, sitting in contemplation, taking a walk in nature, gardening, playing with a pet, making love, painting, cooking, serving someone in need or moving to music.
4. Slow down to engage in more conscious knowing. Mindfulness is a mental state of being conscious and aware. It helps you to find union in reality, free of illusion. Don’t you want to know what this life, this reality, truly is? It can’t possibly be just what’s on the surface. Remaining on the exterior is like living outside of a magnificent palace and never getting to go inside.
5. Open yourself to a sense of oneness. As you begin to explore life beyond the surface, you soon begin to know there is so much more to see and know. You are part of the collective, the universe, the cosmos, the oneness and the supreme consciousness that breathes life into us all. Consciously become aligned with it. In this way, Mindfulness can lead us down a mystical path. If you keep your mind open and your thoughts illumined, truths will be known to you when you are ready to know them.
If you practice Mindfulness, stay in present moment awareness, commit to self-surrender, and lift the veils of falsehood, you will feel the shift. And with your own shift in consciousness, you help to raise the consciousness of the planet.
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Ora Nadrich is a pioneering Mindfulness expert, international keynote speaker and coach, and the founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking. A sought-after expert in the fields of Mindfulness, transformational thinking and self-discovery, she is the author of Says Who? How One Simple Question Can Change the Way You Think Forever, and Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, named “one of the 100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time” by BookAuthority. Her new book is Mindfulness and Mysticism: Connecting Present Moment Awareness with Higher States of Consciousness (IFTT, Nov. 11, 2021). Learn more at oranadrich.com.
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