On Thanksgiving, after we finished dinner, we moved to the family room. Each person chose a gratitude bag, took a pen and as many strips of paper as there were people present. The assignment was that we would write a "compliment" or a "thankful" note to each person.
"Think of a tough time in your life, when you hated the situation you were in the most. Hold onto that moment and really own and feel it. Remember what it was like and that you never want to be there again. Then take action."
The preachers of mindfulness are yoga instructors, therapists, and stress reduction psychologists and teachers. It is based on a very specific act that every human is capable of practicing: Be where you are.
Given that genuine inner happiness fluctuates, it's important to be mindful as you ride on the rim of that ever-turning wheel, rather than hold on to the misconception that life and happiness are static.
When your self-worth is wrapped in things that are outside of your control, you're setting yourself up for an emotional roller coaster. In other words, you're up when the job is up and down when the job is down.
Everyone can experience this creative flow especially with the art and practice of mindfulness meditation. It all starts with just 10 minutes once or twice a day of closing your eyes, breathing in and out and watching with wonder and joy how your inner core of gold unfolds.
Controlling your attention -- becoming more able to place it where you want it and keep it there, and more able to pull it away from what's bothersome or pointless -- is the foundation of changing your brain, and thus your life, for the better.
Meditation can be the doorway through which we enter into a deeper connection with the world within and around us. At the beginning of his five-day retreat at Kripalu, The Wise and Loving Heart, Jack Kornfield reflects on the benefits and blessings of meditation.
Since uncertainty is the rule, when we think we know, our mindlessness is in charge. The simple act of noticing is engaging and reveals that events don't cause stress. It is the mindless view of events that leads to stress.
The real answer to living your life in balance and with a healthy sense of calm is not about spending more time on the mat or on a meditation pillow, but taking your practice off the pillow and bringing it into your everyday life.
Choose freedom. Dare to think for yourself. Your very choice is an expression of affection for the true you. I think Alan Watts would agree there is no more noble act than to elevate your consciousness above the roar of what others have to say, so you can hear what you have to say.
After decades of exploring the human potential movement and studying many methods of its gurus, I now believe that I have garnered enough information, instruction and experience to edit it all down to some simple guidelines that have proven invaluable to me.