What is Mindfulness ?The art of mindfulness has been practice by Zen Masters since ancient times. Many other spiritual philosophies believe that mindful pray, meditation and rituals can lead to a richer and fuller life leading to happiness and peace if practice on a daily basis.
Psychology Today one of the leading magazines in the self-growth field defines mindfulness as: "mindfulness is a state of active open attention on the present” When you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience." (Psychology Today)
I have been practicing mindfulness as a way of life for over twenty years. I feel that this technique has allowed me to realize my potential and support others to do the same by using a combination of success strategies, coaching and mindfulness techniques.
Recent scientific research has found that using meditation for fifteen minutes a day changes the chemical composition of the brain producing a completely different brain map within a six week period. These findings will have a profound effect on the way we see the brain, our ability to change the brain, therefore, in effect changing our life. These findings are also producing a new way of looking at the brain’s ability to transform biologically. This has led the scientific community to create new terms based on these biologically findings.
This new term in brain functioning is called neuron-plasticity. This new understanding of the potential expansion of the brains capacity for change is being studied at leading university around the world. The findings of these studies are proving the theories of ancient teachers of the past. The brain is not only unlimited on emotional and intellectual level but also on a biological level.
I am reducing a very complicate subject into a simple explanation to provide a basis of understanding of how are brain functions.
Rational and analytical reasoning is a function of the left hemisphere. The left part of the brain is like a computer. It is limited and finite. It can use either or choices that are polar opposites such as right or wrong, black or white good or bad. The right side of our brain provides an ability to feel emotion creates a flight or fights response to impending danger and is a channel for our intuitive natures. It can also create compulsions, over reactions and drama in our lives. It is a feeling based center where we experience fear, hurt, sadness, joy and love. Our right hemisphere is feeling based rather than intellectually or rationally based as we find in the left hemisphere. We need both of these centers of the brain to perform the activities of daily living, accomplish goals, make life choices that promote us rather than limit us.
Mindfulness can bring a balance to these two parts of our brain. It enhances our understanding that we have choices. It allows us to choose how we want to lead our lives. We can be run by compulsions and over reactions in our daily lives or we can stand back and observe our reactions to life’s challenges. Mindfulness addresses old programing that runs in the left part of our brain. These old programs can rationalizes old ways of making decisions and keeps us stuck in life through patterns and behaviors that run automatically without our conscious choice. Eventually, if we continue this way of living, we become automated and at the effect of situations around us instead of being ?self-directed and empowered. This philosophy also teaches us that we have the opportunity to experience unlimited potential.
The art of mindfulness begins by allowing individuals to be present in the moment. It creates an awareness of the breath of life that is within us. By using this technique, we can stand back and become an observer not only of the possibilities and options that we have but also the behaviors or thinking patterns that don't serve our growth any longer. In other words, mindfulness allows us to make a choice rather than be at the effect of our emotions and rationalizations. We are no longer at the effect of unconscious decisions. Unconscious living normally produces a reactive stance to life's challenges. Mindfulness is a quiet pause that brings tremendous change in our life. Through this pause, we begin to learn to detach and observe our behavior, decision-making and thinking patterns. We can then choose through our conscious intention and commitment to change our lives in a self-caring manner.
Purposeful intention is the ability to be mindful and present within the moment of our experience. When we are present in the moment, our actions can be responsive instead of reactive to our challenges. Responsiveness is a choice. Being" at choice" requires self-understanding and self-reflection. These two skills are two of the key elements of Emotional Intelligence (EQ}. The practice of mindfulness is a state of consciousness that release the limitations that are self-imposed and brings options to problem solving, relationship issues and stress reduction and empowers every part of our lives. Integrates our desire to choose result-oriented living by becoming consciously aware of the cause and effect of our decision making and unconscious thinking patterns. It also allows us to observe these behaviors without self-blame. Releasing ourselves from critical judgment increases self-trust. Through this process of mindful presence self-doubt begins to disappear as well as the negative voice that most of us have experienced within our within our lives.
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