Mindfulness has become the new trend promoted in business magazines, militaries, schools and health care centers, to name just a few places. Mindfulness is based in meditation practices that are thousands of years old, so it’s hardly “new.” So, what’s all the “fuss” about?
We think the popularity of mindfulness has evolved as new brain research studies have proven that mindfulness practices can calm your nervous system and support recovery from a wide range of psychological and medical conditions. Plus, we all desire more work/life balance, and adopting a practice than helps reduce stress and promote health makes sense.
Mindfulness practices can also help you get beyond obstacles that are in the way of creating what you want. More on that last point in a minute.
In its simplest form, mindfulness is about paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, with a non-judgmental focus. In short, mindfulness is paying attention in the moment.
When shifting from the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™ roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer, being mindful in the moment can gather your reactive thoughts and focus them into a more coherent and positive energy. When you go numb to what’s happening in the moment, it is easy to go on auto-pilot and react from early habits that no longer serve you and dig you deeper into the DDT.
When you are not aware of your thoughts and feelings that lurk beneath the surface of your consciousness, you literally risk being at war with yourself and sabotaging what you want to create. Being unaware of your core feelings zaps your energy and explains why you may suddenly get triggered by something or someone. Being more self-aware in the moment can help you have your emotions, rather than your emotions having you.
Mindfulness can be as simple of sitting down and feeling your back and butt in the chair and your feet and toes on the floor. That simple act of bringing your non-judgmental attention to your body, combined with a few deep breaths, relaxes your nervous system. As you practice observing your sensations and allow emotions to flow through you, the potential of getting hijacked in the moment and slipping into the DDT diminishes.
Mindfulness helps awaken your “inner observer.” The part of your brain that lights up when your inner observer is activated is the opposite area of your brain that is activated when you are in the DDT. Two parts of the brain do not activate at the same time. That is how mindfulness practices help you get out of the DDT and reduce your tension and stress in the moment.
Becoming more mindful does not change your outer circumstances—-it changes the way you perceive your circumstances. You might appear the same on the outside while, inside, you can transform your internal experience with life because your mindfulness practice brings the unconscious into conscious awareness. You might become aware of your internal narrative, rather than keep it buried. You get to change how you identify with the internal stories about your life, without really changing life. How convenient!
Shifting from Victim to Creator—-from drama to empowerment—-begins with focusing more on what you want than what you don’t want. There is always tension in the gap (which we call Dynamic Tension) between what you want and what you have. Mindfulness supports you to watch your body sensations and your self-talk as you become more aware of this tension in the creating gap.
As you hold that tension, observe your subtle body sensations and thoughts, with a non-judgmental space, and you will gradually relax. As you practice these mindfulness moments, you will be amazed at the insights that arise.
Rather than reacting to life, you are creating your life. That’s what the fuss is all about!