Mindfulness is the ability and practice of watching your self think, act and feel from the perspective of an observer. An observer that has no judgement. Just a curious part of you sitting back watching everything play out like a TV show and you’re not in it. Easier said than done but worth the effort.
Why would you want to do that? Good question, let’s look at some of the benefits…
Based on what I know about us humans, suffering comes from being attached to thoughts. An example of this could be one having a thought of a traumatic childhood (me) playing over and over like a broken record. After a while of doing this, it becomes automated and as a result, there is a strong attachment to not only the thought but the pattern running on autopilot. When you become mindful of this process playing out, you can detach (just by observing it). Detaching will free you from the negativity generated by the thought.
Here is a shorter example, say you have a thought that all short people can’t be trusted. As you shop around you see a bunch of short people. Now you start to stiffen up and out yourself on full alert. Why? You are attached to the thought that all short people can’t be trusted.
Practicing mindfulness will help you detach. Once detached, you’ll have more awareness which brings more mental freedom.
Happiness is a state of mind but if our mind is full of attachments, it’s kind of hard to be happy.
Practicing mindfulness helps as detach and detaching from shame, judgment, projecting, etc., frees our mind and makes space. Free space in the mind is great because it means we have more energy to use on thoughts that can increase more of what we really want.
Mindfulness can be practiced best in passive activities such as house cleaning, eating, having a cup of tea, etc.
Because of my traumatic childhood, I was locked into a state of fight, flight or freeze from the age of two until around thirty years old. As a result, mindfulness was one of the hardest practices to apply. However it gets easier the more you do it and the benefits are worth it. I am no longer stuck in fight, flight or freeze! Now that is freedom.
Mindfulness has helped me with emotional eating too. Before I would over eat to sooth my stress created by my dominating negative thoughts/attachments. With mindfulness I was able to see what I was really doing. As a result, I just self corrected and in one year lost thirty five pounds.
Mindfulness is not my only practice but for anyone wanting to evolve, grow, become an upgraded version of one self, it’s an excellent starter practice.
Something that will hold you back from benefiting greatly from a mindfulness practice will be judgment. Remember the goal – just a curious part of you sitting back watching everything play out like a TV show and you’re not in it. Everything meaning your thoughts, feelings, and actions.