Updated: Jan 20, 2020
Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation and through other training. What mindfulness is saying to all of us is find your own way. Listen to your heart. Listen to your own longing. Because what we are really trying to do is live our life as if it really matters. Because it does. - Jon Kabat-Zinn
One of the parts of the process at GritClub is to do something physical each day, have 10+ minutes of silent reflection (with use of a meditation app if necessary), and at the end of that silence to journal or think about the area of your life you want to be intentional about improving. The goal is to then do this for 3 days in a row, and then we will discuss the next step.
Here is the "why" behind this simple process:
Doing something physical (it's different for everyone but I define as "breaking a sweat") is not only a habit that we need to form daily, but physical exercise puts your body in a state that prepares it for relaxation. At the end of a physical activity your body is tired so it is looking forward to the break you are about to give it through meditation. Your mind and body are then ready to receive the silence, eliminate distractions, and consume the feeling of relaxation you are about to feed it.
The silent reflection (or meditation) allows our mind to seep under our state of consciousness to the edges of our subconscious. Our normal state of day to day functioning is in "beta" state that involves high brain activity. The level below that is the "alpha" state which is a slower level of brain activity that we can reach through meditation. Being able to access this state of mind in today's time is extremely important considering the massive amounts of distractions and dings and pings and "to do" lists we are surrounded by from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed.
At the end of this meditative state (which we can usually reach in 10 minutes or less), we then start to approach the "theta" state. The theta state is where our subconscious lies and where we can really start to implement the change we want in our lives. These slower brain waves allow us to tap into our true self, our true intentions, and start the journey of becoming the person we were created to be. People often refer to this as their inner voice, their intuition, or their gut feeling. It knows exactly who you are and what you are capable of becoming, and it only has your best intentions - there is never any underlying negativity, only positivity. And the more clear we can be about the area of our life we want to improve, we can then spend this 'theta state' creating and envisioning the life we want for ourselves (and sometimes first requiring us to repair and reframe some issues from our past that maybe we haven't properly dealt with).
But the first part of the process is to identify that next best step to self improvement and why that is important to you. Some of us want to focus on having better and deeper relationships, others want to focus on improving certain character qualities, others want to perform better at school or work or athletics or careers or business. But whatever it is, the destination is not nearly as important as the journey.
So my challenge to you this week is as follows: spend time in your meditative state identifying this area of improvement that you know is the next best step to self improvement and why it is important to you. Once you have identified it, our next step is to create a strategy to help you get better and stronger each and every day.
Remember, the goal is progress, not perfection. Be quick to forgive yourself, focus on what you can control, remember the entire purpose of your subconscious is all positivity, and embrace the fact that you feel happy and healthy!
"Silence is the resting place of existence." - In Pursuit of Silence