Imagine unlocking your inner power so consciously and purposefully that you could immediately take charge of your future, today!
Before going to work on harnessing all that power you have, something very important needs to happen, and that something is taking some time to become aware of where your focus is going and learning just how to focus powerfully on purpose.
One of the most effective ways of doing this is to get skilled at being ‘mindful’.
What is Mindfulness?
The first thing here is to explain what “mindfulness” means. The idea is certainly not a new one. According to the teachings of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE), mindfulness is considered to be one of the seven factors on the path to enlightenment. So what is it? Well, plainly speaking, mindfulness is a state of purposeful being in which one can pay attention to the reality of one’s experience.
Psychology has embraced the use of mindfulness in recent years and it has been noted to be effective in treating a variety of issues. Whether you want to get more clarity in your life or tap into your powerful subconscious resources mindfulness is a great place to start. Below are 3 easy and quick ways of getting ‘mindful’ which you can start using today to help you stop – and refocus your energy, on purpose!
Exercise 1: 60-Second Mindfulness
This is a simple mindfulness exercise which you can do anytime throughout the day. It helps to have some time on your own, but it only takes sixty seconds, so you should be able to do it anywhere and at any time. When you’re settled and ready, check your clock or watch and make a note of the time. Then, for the next sixty seconds, your sole task is to focus all your attention on your breathing. It may seem like a long time, but that is all you have to do for sixty seconds. You don’t have to close your eyes; just concentrate on your breathing to the exclusion of everything else. With each breath in, notice your stomach and chest rising, and with each breath out, notice them lowering.
You might notice your mind wandering off, which is normal when you first start. You might need to build it up from twenty seconds to thirty, forty and then eventually sixty seconds. Sixty seconds, however, is your goal. Once you have achieved that then you can make it longer, but start with just one minute as your target.
Exercise 2: Conscious Focussed Observation
When you’ve achieved one full minute of mindful attention, then we can build up your mindful “connection.” In this exercise I want you to first find yourself somewhere quiet and again make sure you’ll be undisturbed. Then pick up an object that you have lying around. Any object will do. It doesn’t matter, as it’s simply going to be a point of focus for you. Hold your chosen object in both of your hands and let your attention be fully absorbed by your object. Examine it, allowing your observations to move around it in different directions. You may find thoughts about it wandering into your mind, but there’s no need to do anything with them. You don’t have to assess your object, or think about it, or make sense of anything about it. Just observe your object for what it is and stay with your object as completely as you can. Let it become the central point of your world at this moment in time. The goal is to experience a feeling of being in the now and present in your experiencing of life.
Exercise 3: Mindfulness Triggers
“Triggers” occur in all sorts of situations. Pavlov’s dogs are a very well-known example of how they can be used. Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) conducted an experiment where he trained dogs to salivate on command. He presented dogs with a ringing bell followed by food. After repeating the same process a few times, the dogs, upon hearing a bell ring, would salivate, anticipating food, whether it appeared or not. The conditioned stimulus – the bell – created a conditioned response within the dogs, with them salivating at the prospect of being fed.
In this exercise we are going to use the same idea. You are going to train yourself to respond in a certain way whenever a certain trigger or cue occurs. Think now about a common trigger that happens from day to day. Let’s take the telephone ringing. Your goal is that whenever you hear this sound, you focus on becoming mindful – of an object, or something more innate, like your breathing. Your breathing works well, as it’s something you cannot escape. You are always breathing, hopefully! So, when the telephone rings, your task is to train yourself to mindfully shift your attention to your breathing, and specifically each breath in and each breath out.
Another common experience is looking in the mirror. Most of us do this every day, so it’s a common experience that we can use to become mindful. When you look in the mirror, shift your attention to your breathing. You can look at yourself whilst you do it or close your eyes, whatever suits you. What other common life experience triggers can you think of? What do you do each day as a matter of course? What are the most repetitive experiences you have each day?
List three of them below now.
From now on, in each of these situations, remember to shift into a mindful state of being. This mindfulness triggers exercise is an excellent way of moving out distractions and snapping you into the now, where you can think more clearly and really embrace your personal power and focus.
The 3 exercises might seem simple, yet the simplest things often end up being the most powerful. The power comes when you take charge and become more aware of your experiencing of life from moment to moment. Doing this on purpose will open you up to knowing more about who you are, and that’s when you access the channel of infinite wisdom you have within you. Now that sounds worth sticking with!
We’ve found a great website where you can instantly choose a mindfulness meditation from between 2 to 20 minutes. Check out www.calm.com. If you feel like you need to de-stress first then get my free MP3 at this link.
Adapted from the Award Winning book by Tom Barber – The Book on Back Pain: The Ultimate Guide to Permanent Relief.