Eckhart Tolle, the author of the bestseller book ‘The Power of Now’, a renowned spiritual teacher was once asked ‘I want what you have. Can you give it to me or teach me how to get it? His reply was so profound ‘You have it already. You just can’t feel it because your mind is making too much noise.’ His book disclosed as ’ You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!’ This describes mindfulness beautifully as an observation of self while taking yourself as a separate entity from your own thinking of who you think you are.
Where Do We Stand?
As we age we start becoming more and more used to the world as it throws challenges one after another into our journey, challenges that we think are way above our own capacity the end result being frustration with our difficulties and problems that seem to be squeezing the happiness and soul out of us. We can recognize this lifeless disposition manifesting in our work, relationships, spirituality, and individuality. We start defining the boundaries that might make us feel safe or happy.
Here we stand defining our thoughts, emotions, skills in our comfort zone, and making it our identity. We don’t want to go deep into thinking about what a human being is capable or deserving of. No, no. That is too fearful a thought and you might end up losing the fragile image of yourself. If you start questioning the fundamentals to yourself,
Who am I? Is it really what the outwardly labels describe me? Or Is it what I think I am?
Here we stand, some thoughts that are too fearful to think but ignorance in itself is the biggest failure.
What We Are?
Human beings crave names, labels that make their minds understand, relate, and identify. Our behaviors are always outcome-oriented psychologically. We live in anticipation of a peaceful existence. We seek peace, appreciation, love, happiness, all the positive outcomes. We yearn for instant relief, calmness, and happiness. Basic human nature is to be good, fulfilling, and be happy.
Research conducted at Harvard on the learning capabilities of students with and without physical disabilities showed that after 3 months both groups were on par in their learning capabilities, showing how rapidly the disabled students adapted. That’s the extent of resilience a human carries to endure anything so do not worry about being doomed in crisis.
Think of your goals what are they aiming at? A better lifestyle, a better degree, a beloved relationship. Here comes the why question. Why are we seeking all these? Just because we think that they will make us happy, fulfilled, and appreciated by our own selves and from the world. But all of that belongs to the future. What if despite all of your efforts you are unable to get that ’Happiness’ of yours? Will your life be doomed then?
What Do We Need?
Mindfulness aims at being fully present at the moment with the utmost curiosity, the formula of instant peace. The removal of preconceived thoughts of knowing and discovering yourself in its most originality.
For example, an unmet deadline evokes disappointment just experiencing that and letting it go without labeling yourself as a failure, a loser is called mindfulness. You are able to recognize, feel, and let that not be included in the dictionary defining yourself.
The goal of mindfulness is to get aligned with the inner mechanics of our mental, emotional, and physical processes. It is the realization of being more than your own thoughts in your learning, undertaking, emotional capacity, endurance, etc.
Appreciate the present moment the way it is, at worst, you are able to analyze it and understand it, without attaching any meaning to it. It is the audacity by which you can say ’yes, I failed’. The present is the only moment we are sure of, the future is not promised, the past is inaccessible and the present is the turning point of everything that belongs to the past or future.
Stop identifying yourself with your success and your failure. Why? Being mindful of the reality of the situation and asserting that you are above the physicality (materialism), the temporary, and your essence is everlasting (spiritual) in its origin. It gives us a sense of relief in the worst of failures which are inevitable yet temporary and you stay surviving all those. So why not thrive of those moments by removing the self-made tags?
How to Become Mindful?
If you are asking this question out of learning purpose then observe a child, a perfect subject to make you understand the living of the present. What is intriguing in a kid? His curiosity with 100% investment in what he is doing, watching, eating, learning?
Here are certain tips to unlearn and just be:
- Curious Mind:
Unlearn the perceived knowledge about everything and try seeing and feeling it anew, fresh. This rapidly brings you up to the present. Take a moment and touch the wall behind you, feel its texture and integrity. You were being present and it was joyful.
- An Unfiltered Observation:
For a moment in a situation (wedding), stop extracting meaning and opinions of the situation and try observing your surrounding. You will feel life, emotions, essence, the soul. You were being mindful and the moment was intuitive.
- Let it go and let it be:
If you are hurt rather than being in denial let yourself feel the pain and observe how intense it can be. The willingness to let things be switches you out of the pain at the very moment. There you are being realistically invincible.
This is a concept of ’you matters’. A significance of one’s own self. It is a mind shift towards an inevitable unseen reality of ‘I am’ not because of this and that but simply because of your sheer existence. I am and I deserve worth and love in the very moment whatever the circumstances may be.
- Not Striving:
60000 thoughts run through our minds during 24 hours. Are you bothered by that? Yes. Can you stop that? No. Self-acceptance and its mechanism make you resilient and not forcing every part of you to vanish.
Take few moments daily while standing, sitting, or lying and focus on your breathing pattern, on your feelings at the moment, or thoughts in the moments. Your mind will instantly go silent and you will become peaceful with any situation of your life.
In our life, we crave peak experiences, living in the present and the ability to touch your present enables us to sustain the intense composure and aliveness in the moment. Train yourself to be mindful of your life rather than letting it be eaten away by the mind’s self-sabotaged past and future thoughts. Happy reading!
Written By: Dr. Sania Riaz
I’m Dr. Sania Riaz. I am a neuroscience and psychology enthusiast. Reading is my therapy, writing is my dream and diversity is my inspiration. Living each of these is a blessing.