Okay yes, so I have to admit I have always been one of those people who jump on the train to make life changes as soon as the New Year arrives. Throughout the years, I have spent an endless amounts of time and energy trying to desperately improve myself in ways that aren’t always sustainable nor always beneficial. So, as another new year rolls in I am left with a decision to make, do I continue to focus on what I need about myself or my life so I can perhaps achieve some desired outcome that may or may not bring me long lasting happiness, or do I choose to put my energy into more sustainable, more accessible right here, right now, something that will allow for transformation to happen all on its own?
Tell the truth without judgement or blame.
Don’t be attached to the outcome.
~ Angeles Arriane, The Four-Folded Way
I believe Mindfulness, the practice of awakened consciousness is the key to true transformation. How can we ever transform if we aren't even awake?
1. SHOWING UP
Showing up is the foundation to real transformation. It requires from us the deep intention to REALLY BE HERE, in this moment, plain and simple, whether we want to or not. Think about it, how often are you really here? Most of us spend a short or sometimes long distance away from this very moment, lost in our day dreams about a better life, a better moment, only keeping us out of touch with the only moment we have to experience true transformation.
Showing up is an invitation to really be here wholeheartedly!
An Invitation to Practice! In this moment right now, an invitation to ask yourself “Am I really here?” and invite yourself to show up right here, right now. Where is your mind at? What stories are you telling and replaying? Is it time for a new one to be told? Perhaps one that is rooted in curiosity and kindness? What do you notice within the framework of your body, sights, sounds, smell, the rhythm of your breath? What emotions are here that need to be experienced so they can be let go? Take a moment to really show up in this moment so you can plant the seeds perhaps for greater discoveries.
2. PAYING ATTENTION
Without the quality of attention, it becomes impossible to ever make real meaningful life changes. When we are able to pay closer attention to how our minds cling to old habits in order to avoid uncomfortable feelings or emotions, we all of a sudden have greater power and choice to perhaps attend to things differently. Think about it! How much attention do you pay to before, after or during something you do?
Paying attention is an invitation to notice, to really notice!
An Invitation to Practice! In this moment right now, an invitation to pay close attention to how you are feeling. Is there is anything you are desiring strongly right now, like food or a particular feeling of some sort? In noticing this desire, can you notice any avoidance that may be here as well? Avoidance of a particular feeling or task? Notice if there is any stories or thoughts attached to this avoidance or desire? Thoughts can be as powerful or as weak as we want them to be, so pay close attention to the types of thoughts and stories you are given power to. See you can give power to your most wholesome thoughts, ones that are aligned with your deepest intentions, and letting go of the rest.
3. TELLING THE TRUTH, WITHOUT JUDGEMENT OR BLAME
Most of us are masters at fooling ourselves, on many levels, and so much so that something can literally be right in front our faces, but we simply can't see it, nor do we often want to. But in order for us to experience true transformation, we have to be able to tell the truth, and this truth comes along with not beating ourselves up for all the ways we are still growing.
Telling the truth, without judgement is the invitation to no longer being fooled.
An Invitation to Practice! If you want to experience real transformation, you need to be willing to take your blinders off to see how you are really relating to yourself and to others moment to moment. In contemplating your deepest heartfelt desires for happiness, what obstacles can you shine light on that are still standing in your way? Are there certain stories, beliefs or narratives that are effecting your ability to be generous or kind towards yourself or others? Are there certain attitudes still standing in your way to perhaps seeing yourself, others and the world differently? Are there certain afflictive emotions you haven’t allowed yourself to feel yet that are standing in your way of forgiveness and healing? Think about it deeply, are you fooling yourself on any level?
4. NOT BEING ATTACHED TO A OUTCOME
Not being attached to the outcome (in my experience) is only the hardest skill of them to practice, as it requires the willingness and determination to keep moving ahead at all costs, to keep putting forth your efforts whether the road is bumpy or not, and most of to let go of any desired outcomes so you can simply enjoy the ride!
Not being attached to the outcome is an invitation to let go and let life happen!
An Invitation to Practice! Notice if there is any forms of attachment in the pursuit of your dreams and desires, such as beliefs such as “If only I had this I would feel this way…” or “Not until this happens can I…” Understand that engaging in these kinds of stories and beliefs only keeps you stuck in exactly what you are trying to get out of. So instead of being so focused on what is out there to make your life more meaningful, keep coming back to what is right here, and see what happens when you can simply show up wholeheartedly in this moment, when you can pay close attention to what your own framework, when you can tell the truth, without judgement or blame, and not when you can not be attached to the outcome and simply be! What a transformation!
For more information on how mindfulness practices can completely transform your life check out www.findingstillnessinmovement.com