In the last blog, I discussed how the key to personal transformation is to tame our emotions, quieten and focus our mind and tune into the sensations of our body, our subconscious mind as a form of intelligence far greater than our conscious thoughts.
In this blog we will look closer into how we can quieten and focus our mind. The best way to quieten a busy mind is to develop mindfulness. If we want to change something, first we have to increase our awareness of the way it is, and mindfulness allows you to do exactly that.
We can define mindfulness as non-judgmental awareness of the present moment. What do we mean by non-judgmental? It means to become like an objective observer of our experience where we don’t judge it as being good or bad, we just accept what is going on as it is, with a sense of openness and we stay balanced. This then allows us to make the best decisions and take action.
A lot of this judgement happens subconsciously and habitually. If we feel difficult sensations or emotions, like anxiety for example, we tend to automatically judge the sensations or emotions as being bad and react by trying to push them away. When the anxiety doesn’t go away however we then may get angry, frustrated or even depressed. This just makes the anxiety worse.
If we feel nice sensations or emotions, once again we automatically judge the nice sensations or emotions as being good and react by craving more of them. We may feel elated and start thinking about how nice the sensations are and hope they don’t go away. Once again we become unbalanced. So each time we react to our experience, we get out of balance. The way we observe our self is with curiosity and kindness. We treat ourselves as we would a young child that is in distress. With kindness and softness.
Mindfulness allows us to change the relationship with our self and with our universe by developing attributes such as non-judging, acceptance, patience, curiosity, trust and kindness towards all parts of our self. This includes the parts of us that we don’t like. For example we might have a part of us which overthinks a lot. I know I sure do! Or we may have a part of us that judges a lot. It’s about applying the principals of mindfulness to these parts of us that we may not like and automatically try to push away.
Over time, mindfulness allows you to become conscious of what was previously subconscious and this allows you to gradually transform your inner world, which in turn transforms your outer world.
These aren’t just principals for mindfulness, they are principals for how we live our life, how we face our challenges and how we learn from our setbacks. They are not something we hear or read about and then put down; developing these principals takes a life time. The more we keep learning, keep improving the better we will feel and the more enjoyable and fulfilling that our life becomes. This then motivates us to continue our journey deeper.
Mindfulness is not something new. It has been practiced for over twenty-five hundred years in eastern philosophies and traditions. Just because we are learning about and practicing mindfulness, it doesn’t mean it’s a religion, it’s something that we all naturally have the ability to do. Mindfulness gives us a way of being with our limiting thoughts, pain and emotions, without being scared of them, without them controlling us and taking over our behaviour. Mindfulness gives us a way of being with all the ups and downs of life. It allows us to face what’s going on, quiet our mind, become present and balanced.
How do We Practise Mindfulness?
Many people say going fishing or riding their motor bike or playing golf is their mindfulness practice. And although they are great ways of unwinding, relaxing and having fun, they are not the same as setting time aside to sharpen your mindfulness ability.
The best way to start practising mindfulness is by doing meditation.
What is Meditation?
Most of us are very busy caught up in the dramas of our outer world, however the reality of the situation is that our inner world creates our outer world. Or put another way, whatever we put out in life, we get back. You may have heard of this universal law which is sometimes called the law of attraction or the law of resonance or the law of cause and effect.
Meditation is a process by which you can let go of your hectic external world and go within to find a place of serenity. When you go within however, it’s not always going to be serenity, you may have lots of thoughts, emotions or pain. As we apply our mindfulness principals and observe these things objectively, over time we find that they subside.
Meditation is a way of stopping what’s happening in our outer world and going within to our inner world, so we can quieten our mind and connect with our true self, our pure awareness of the present moment. From this quiet place you are at one with who you really are.
Meditation takes time and patience to realise the benefits. No matter how much or how little experience you have had with meditation, you just start where you’re at.
Objects of Meditation
In meditation you let your body relax while you keep your mind focused. It’s a balance between being relaxed and aware and it takes a while to find the right balance as you experiment. Another way of looking at it is a balance of intention and surrender.
If you just sit there doing nothing, your mind will tend to wander, that’s why you give it something to do, something to focus on. The focus of your meditation, which is called a meditation object could be:
1) Your breath and it’s sensations,
2) Your body and it’s sensations,
3) A mantra,
5) A mental picture or,
6) A physical object, like a candle flame.
The objects of meditation I use in my meditation classes and on the Know Thyself Program, are the first two of these:
1) Your breath and its sensations and
2) Your body and its sensations
Using the other objects of meditation can lead to nice states of trance, however these act at a more superficial or surface level of the mind, so the deep conditioning remains the same.
If you’re interested in developing your mindfulness ability, I run mindfulness meditation classes from the Perth Hills Mindfulness Space in Darlington on Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm. Check out www.PerthHillsMindfulnessSpace.com.au for details. If you would like to try guided mindfulness meditation from home, just send me an email at PerthHillsMindfulnessSpace@gmail.com and I will happily forward you a guided meditation free of charge. Let me know if you have any questions and I wish you all the best in your mindfulness practice.
Note: Although I don’t own the copyright to this image it is my understanding it is available for free use.
Author: GABRIEL PERGAMALIS
About Gabriel Pergamalis
Gabriel Pergamalis is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Self-Mastery Coach at the Perth Hills Mindfulness Space. He is passionate about helping people empower themselves to quieten their mind, tame their emotions and transform their limiting beliefs. He understands how the mind works, especially the influence of the subconscious mind. He is constantly upgrading his level of training to bring his clients the most simple, yet effective techniques to develop mindfulness, connect with their true self and overcome conditioning of the subconscious mind.
For more information on Gabriel’s “Know Thyself Program” visit the SELF MASTERY COACHING PAGE.
You can download Chapter 1 of the program for free including a 30 minute guided mindfulness meditation by Gabriel.