Being mindful grounds you in your present. It makes you better at making decisions, and generally makes you experience more of life. Here's how I do it.

BY indefiniteloop

Life’s more akin to a runaway train, more than anything else. We never know when, how, and where we are going to stop at; we never know if we’ll have pit stops or stop entirely, and we never know how long we’re going to have to stay at a stop either. Destinations are all basic functions of probabilities arising from circumstances, and the choices we make. Even though it’s a driverless train, we’re still responsible for the ride we undertook, based on the choices made.

The quality of the ride greatly depends on our perceptions of it, of all those stations we stopped over at, of all the difficult choices we’ve made, and are going to make. It greatly depends on sharing our own proverbial, travel diaries with each other. Directly or indirectly it also depends upon how mindful we’re of our choices, actions, words, and of how much we share, experience all of it together.

Mindfulness is a part of the key that unlocks, unfolds, and lays our choices, and us bare. It makes us more vulnerable, and more open to possibilities. It enables us to enjoy the winds in our hairs. It’s a really simple, daily ritual to follow. One that allows us to accept who we are, were, of where we find ourselves, and what we’ve become. This further enables us then, to accept others, with their differences, around us; it enables us to ask for help when in need, and to forge more meaningful connections during our passage.

So How Do We Go About Becoming Mindful Everyday?

It’s simple really, or that I find it simple. There’s no magic here. We just practice it. We just go on doing the things we always do, but become aware of doing them; we become aware of our surroundings. And, while in the process we become reflecting, and start analyzing; not too much of analyzing it though. Just being aware is what is most important. For e.g if you’re driving to work, and have been driving to work for a really, really long time then you’re mostly on auto-pilot during this commute. Switching off the auto-pilot, and being aware of your driving experience, route choices, etc. gives you more in depth knowledge about yourself, your routes, etc.

You don’t have to become a self-sage at the first go. Take your time, and just be present in whatever it is you’re doing. That’s it.

Take that matter into your hands.
Taking that matter into your own hands.

When we’re idle or bored, letting our minds wander is normal. It likes to escape from all that it finds dreary. Again, being mindful of where it goes, and how far it dreams, and imagines is an awesome feeling, and being aware of where our mind is when it is wandering, is also mindfulness. Don’t stop it from wandering. Most of our best ideas have come from its wandering ways.

We don’t have to be mindful 24 hours, 365 days. We just have to be mindful for 15-20 minutes everyday, to start with. And then 15-20 minutes in every action we take. Overtime becoming mindful on auto-pilot is a goal worth striving for.

Meditation helps. It helps tons. Just five minutes of it, after waking up, sets the tone for your day. And because you practiced meditation, you automatically become more aware of things around you, of how you interact with the world, and yourself.

At first reminding yourself to be mindful can be quite a task. I easily forget things that I don’t want to forget. I often find myself leaving prompts in the form of words, coasters, etc that remind me of my tasks, etc. Leave some prompts, in the form of a reminder on the phone or a note on your desk, etc. something that reminds you to be present, and grounded during any hour of your day.

Mindfulness is not magic. It’s not meditation either. It’s being aware of everything around us, including ourselves. It’s being aware of everything within, and without us; without even trying. What’s full of magic is the fact that our brains are capable of this; of anchoring us in the now.

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