What is mindful living? Part 1 - Self
What is mindful living?
Mindful living is a holistic way of living your life. It extends from your self, body, mindset, spirit to your immediate loved ones, friends, to your community human and non human, to the natural environment you live in, to the larger world we are a part of and to the effects of our choices on people and places we don't have an obvious contact with.
It's moving through life with the intention of understanding that we are part of something greater and making a conscious decision to be a beneficial part of that greater whole.
It can seem like a lot of responsibility, but perhaps we need to understand that it is in line with the size of the global community we have access to and the benefits of that community. Centuries ago our communities were small, we made and bought things locally, knew the people our food and clothing came from, it came with connection , story and care of the person who crafted or grew it. A foreign treat was something rare and exotic, definitely not more affordable then local and not easy to attain and so also came with it's own stories. Now as we reap the seemingly convenient, cheap, diverse benefits of the global economy, it is our responsibility to be as aware, as possible, about the global effects of our choices that we may not see at all.
So in spite of this sometimes invisible ripple effect, every little step taken, can become a habit of mindfulness and each step after, it becomes easier to make choices that are of benefit to all living beings.
So today lets start with the first step; mindfulness of your self, your body, mindset, and spirit.
1. Meditation - whether you do silent meditation, guided meditation, yoga nidra or solo walks in nature aka forest bathing, you are giving your mind a chance to relax and not have to engage in worrying, anxious or demanding thoughts. This allows all the signs, images, conversations, advertising, social media projections, etc. to clear from you mind, erase the chock board so to speak, so that your mind is fresh, settled and able to process clearly. This is a huge help to be able to access the mental, emotional state of mindfulness, which is presence in the moment. This way you are able to live with purpose, intention and awareness.
2. Eat well - Eat food that makes you feel great, gives you clear energy so that your mind is easily settled, pay attention to the smell, taste, flavour and texture of your food, cultivate a gratitude for where it came from, for the water, sun and soil that helped it grow, the people who grew it, or the hands that it went through to get to you, the resources needed to provide you with this life giving nourishment. Try to eat as much whole food and local as possible, being mindful of the energy used to grow, transport and package the food, and the energy of the environment it was grown in.
3. Move - find mindful ways to engage and move in your body, whether you are sitting at a desk all day or have a very physical job. Taking time to just be in your body, breathe with it, move in it with awareness of how everything feels allows you to be body and energy literate. Moving allows stored emotions and experiences to move through rather then be contained, stagnated and creating blockages. Having a smooth flow of energy in our bodies, lets our emotions run smooth, and gives us the opportunity to be in better health. When we have mindful movement practices, such as yoga, qi gong, tai chi, mindful dancing or movement we more likely to be able to process everything in our life in more flowing way.
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