Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mindfulness Is Not Relaxation

“Mindfulness is not simply relaxation.  It takes a lot of energy to be mindful.”
Mindfulness is awareness.  In order to be aware, you must be awake.  When I am truly relaxed I am often on the verge of falling asleep.  In a figurative way, many people live their life asleep.  They are the walking dead, living in a daze, and noticing little as they go about their day on auto-pilot.  Mindful living is the opposite of this.  It is living awake and living in awareness of the life around you.  It is also living in awareness of the life within you.  When I go on walks my senses act as antennae.  I try to be mindful of all I see, hear, and smell.  If I am outside I try to feel the warmth of the sun or the coolness of a breeze.  Our senses are a way to be connected with the world we live in.  Depending on where I am I occasionally experience sensory overload.  A friend who once visited India spoke of being overwhelmed with all of the sights, sounds, and aromas.  If being mindful doesn’t yet come naturally to you, start small.  Take a short walk and intentionally pay attention to what is around you.  What are you seeing?  What are you hearing?  What are you smelling?  Don’t just live life.  Feel life. 

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