I’ve spent the past few days doing a lot of reading,… from assorted papers on my desk to articles squirreled away in files to several books, one of which deals with my favorite subject: the brain. I find it fascinating that this 3 pound wonder orchestrates the 3 sacred aspects of being: body (movement), mind (intelligence) and spirit (emotions and behavior).
The unfathomable brain interprets data entered in microseconds and responds to that data by releasing a surge of neurochemicals. The result of this: actions/responses which may or may not be consistent with an intention. In the case of unintended actions, this may be attributed to a lack of consciousness about the data input. You know,… when you say something and then with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach think “What did I just do?”. I call this “being *ssified”. It is only recently (in an effort to become more conscious of my choice of response) that I literally have a discussion with myself to modify the data presented to my brain for interpretation and response.
The more I learn about the brain and its functions, the more excited I become while pondering: how can one become more conscious about the data chosen to be entered?
Mindfulness! We’re hearing this word a lot thanks to writers like Jon Kabat-Zinn as well as by an increase in yoga studios and meditation offerings. Mindfulness is the act of bringing awareness to the present moment, observing it and allowing it to be the teacher revealing our subterranean dreams and fears. This is no small task given many of us can’t sit still for long enough to complete a full exhalation however, the alternative is to be subject to destructive, impulsive acts of self-expression resulting in internal dis-satisfaction.
Studies show that mindfulness practices (like meditation and yoga) reduce depression, anxiety and stress while increasing working memory, creativity and focus (http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx). You should know incense or a yoga mat aren’t necessarily a requirement,… mindfulness can be practiced just about anytime and anywhere. Gardening, walking, and even brushing the cat can become times for inner reflection and self-awareness.
WARNING: By extracting time from your day to experience mindfulness, there will be an amplification in your sense of inner peace.
“Your perception of me is a reflection of you. My reaction to you is an awareness in me.” Author unknown