I want to take a minute to talk about mindfulness.
I used to think mindfulness meant self-monitoring. That I needed to reflect on the past, that I needed to think heavily about my actions, and that I needed to control myself as much as possible. My internal dialogue was negative and filled with constant criticism. My attention was constantly drawn to everything I was doing wrong.
I used to think things like: If only I had more self-discipline; I could do better. If only I exercised more forethought; I could do better. If only I was smarter; I could do better.
It was an exhausting, depleting, and self-defeating exercise. It did not help me forward. I realized that all of the time and energy I was spending self-monitoring was not helping me at all.
I decided to approach mindfulness in a new way.
I began to realize that all of those things that had been keeping me constantly occupied gave my mind absolutely no breathing room. Every day, I had been had actively, diligently, working to destroy my own inner peace.
I simplified my life. I let go of many responsibilities. I narrowed my interests. I enacted boundaries to make myself less accessible.
I decided to take back ownership of my time and energy.
I started practicing self-forgiveness. I worked on loving myself more. I worked on finding a deeper sense of self-acceptance. I learned to allow myself to be as I am, without the constant analyses. Without any judgment.
Instead of occupying myself all the time, I sought to free up my time. I made more time for me. I made more time for stillness. Stillness to just be. I allowed myself to empty my mind and sit in the moment. I allowed myself presence in the moment.
Then, something amazing happened.
I found clarity in the stillness. New ideas and new understandings came to me. As inner peace began to wash over me I found that many of the things I had been so concerned with, didn’t even matter at all. Problems literally dissolved into non-problems.
I found what was most important. I found what truly mattered to me. Everything else began to fall away. I realigned my life with new priorities. I found a new vision, new goals, and a clearer path.