There is no magic in mindfulness. It simply starts with awareness. If you aren't aware of where you are, then you can't be aware of where you want to go, let alone how to get on the path that will guide you towards more personal freedom.
The month of March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, an effort to help expand knowledge, support and understanding about the disease. I wrote this short piece to educate others about what it feels like to live with MS and a disability.
Mindfulness is a hot buzzword at the moment, furthered by Time magazine having "The Mindful Revolution" on its front cover. But what does mindfulness look like in practice? What difference does it make on a day-to-day basis? How does it change our lives?
At first glance you might not put mindfulness and fear together or think that one can counterbalance the other. But while mindfulness invites us to be present with fear rather than run from it, it also frees us from being stuck in fearful thoughts and feelings.
Mindfulness is conscious awareness of what you are feeling and experiencing in the present moment. But there is more. To get to joy it's not enough to just be aware of the present. To get to joy you have to trust that the present moment is exactly where you belong.
Seventeen years ago, on a rainy day, I was sitting in a Cuban restaurant in Los Angeles with close associate and fellow traveler, Carlos Castaneda. We had been discussing the near impossibility of, somehow, freeing oneself from the mind . . . the ego centered self or me.
What is your dream? Take time to think about it, to test it out by speaking it aloud to yourself. Write it down. Post it somewhere as a note where you can see it frequently during the day. Go to sleep thinking about it. Wake up repeating it in your mind.
Mindfulness means we don't get locked out of our heart and throw away the key. Rather, we can watch how negativity distracts the mind and makes such a song and dance, and we just keep breathing and watching as it goes on it's jolly way.
As someone who makes his living helping people get out of the box, I've heard this now iconic phrase uttered thousands of times in the past 25 years. No matter what industry, continent, or mood my clients are in, none of them aspire to be box-bound.
Why does it take a new year to make us behave like this? Why is it that for 364 days we live with regret, doubt, holding on to what we did wrong and wishing we hadn't, or dreaming of a future that can never be because it doesn't exist, and then for just one day we resolve to change all this?
Diarrhea remains the second leading cause of death in children under five years old -- approximately 760,000 deaths every year. Each episode deprives a child of the necessary nutrition to live and thrive -- play, go to school and grow.
The truth is no matter how much we try, plan, plot, arrange, have things to do, leave the house at the same time each day, arrive at the office at the same time, pick up the kids on time, we can still never know what will happen in the next moment.