Living mindfully is one of the very best ways that you can transform your life. When people think about meditation they think about sitting in lotus pose and clearing your mind for extended periods of time. Mindfulness is awesome because it is about becoming fully present in this moment and becoming fully aware of your senses, thoughts, and emotions.
One of the most incredible parts of this practice is that you can make it a part of nearly everything you do in a normal day. When you fully become present you tap into what appears to others as super powers. You don’t miss the subtle happenings around you and can better anticipate future events.
This hyper awareness will not only help you better respond to your surroundings, but it helps you become fully in tune with your body, emotions, feelings, thoughts and spiritual intuitional as well.
I have to tell you that these practices have completely changed my life, but I don’t want you to get caught up in what it has done for me personally, instead I want you to experience it yourself and create your own stories of transformational change.
1. Connecting Completely with Your Senses
The first step to really tap into mindfulness is to completely connect with your physical senses. Studies have shown that this is the easier when you are doing something repetitive or familiar such as washing the dishes, folding your laundry or even playing a video game.
Example: When washing the dishes become present enough that you smell the soap in the air, feel the warm water, hear the water dripping into the sink, see the unique pattern of the soap on the surface of the water.
As you become fully anchored in your senses you will start noticing more than you ever did before. Colors will become more vivid, food will smell and taste more rich, and the texture of something as simple as clothing will become something you are tuned into.
“According to the study conducted with 51 students, they found that those who used the mindfulness technique reported a 27% decrease in nervousness. They also experienced an increase in mental inspiration by 25%.” -Fitlifetv
2. Observe your breathing
Most of us are breathing all the time. With that being said, every time you take a breath you can use it to recenter and observe. Feel every sensation of your breathing and if thoughts or emotions float your way then observe them without engaging with them. They are there, you respect their space and continue to breathe.
Most of us don’t think about how sacred and powerful breathing is unless it has been taken away. Suffering from choking or asthma shouldn’t be the only reason to be in complete awe at the incredible exchange of life-giving molecules that each breath contains. We are in constant communion with nature, with every breath.
3 Eating mindfully
Too often with eating the first bite fills us with pleasure and then every bite after that is chasing that initial feeling. We are in a society that eats unhealthy and often ends up overeating as well. When you slow down and feel each bite both physically and emotionally, meals become more about the long term effects than the short term pleasure.
During and after a meal ask yourself how you feel. Did that meal leave you balanced, happy and energized or do you feel heavy, slowed down and negative? Mindful eating can help you become more aware of how food affects us and will help us gain more control over the fuel we put into ourselves.
You may notice right away with healthy eating that your mind, body and spirit feel lighter and more aware.
4. Walking mindfully
Motion is wonderful for mindfulness meditation. Every new step can be an adventure as you dive deep into your senses and feel the wind at your back. This is a great way to observe your thoughts and emotions, almost as a third party and understand them from a higher level.
When I have used walking as a meditation I am always honored to think that the earth is there to catch me with every step. We own a lot to our mother earth and it is through the grounded steps of mindful walking that we can more easily remember her.
5. Pause between actions
When something happens such as you hear the buzz of your phone you need not rush to it. Instead try mindfully observing the pauses between tasks. When your nose itches observe the itch, observe the desire to scratch the itch. Such a silly thing desire is. It is neither bad nor good, it just is. How curious.
Use these pauses to slow down, recenter, mindfully and consciously move from task to task instead of getting whisked away by the business of life. Pausing can take but a second. No one needs to notice that you are doing it. Just breathe and observe why you are about to do that next thing.
This practice specifically will help you to think before you react, breathe before you speak, and recenter before you act. This can be priceless when dealing with difficult situations.
6. Listen wholeheartedly
When you are listening to someone do not listen with the intent to reply. Instead, slow your mind and just absorb what they are saying. Listen to their words, their tone, their body language, what is going on around you and what your feelings are saying. This is a great time to keep your thoughts silent.
When you are taking in new information, it is much easier to quiet the mind. Some people can turn their thoughts off like a switch but for people like me who seem to constantly have their mind going a million miles a minute instead try slowing them down. Literally think in slow motion and put all of your focus on the person or situation you are connecting with.
This technique isn’t just for speech. Go to a park or out in nature and listen with your eyes, ears, nose, and touch. Fully experience the world through your senses. Smell the earth, touch a tree, and listen to the birds sing. Animals have some of the most incredible reflexes because for the most part they are fully present. Learn from their example.
7. Observe your thoughts and emotions
It is important for us to learn how to tell the difference between our emotions and our feelings. When you are grounded and present with mindfulness it is much easier to tell the difference. Emotions are chemical based and often linked to hormones. They are more closely associated with the three lower chakras and are about anger, over excitement, fear, rejection, pride, urges, power, lack, and control.
Feelings, on the other hand, are from a more neutral space. This is where your souls speaks to you. This is where your intuition, gut feelings, and calm observation pay off. You will not be fooled by others when you are trusting your feelings. Calm balanced neutrality is key for guiding the decisions of your life.
Don’t make decisions when you are sad, don’t speak when you are angry, and don’t make promises when you are excited.
It is also important to realize that you are not always your thoughts. Just because a thought goes through your mind doesn’t mean you are a good or bad person. The thoughts you engage with the most trickle down into words and actions so it is good to know which parts of the thought realm you truly wish to entertain within your mind.
8. Get lost in the flow of doing things you love
Following your greatest joy may land you in places or with projects that completely sweep you away. The flow is so strong that you lose all sense of time and enter what ancient greeks called kairos time (gods time). Sometimes for people this is art, music or dancing. For others it’s inventing, reading, healing, writing or connecting with other souls.
It’s ok to go with this flow, to trust your instincts and to mindfully follow what your heart desires.
9. Meditate daily
Though all of these activities can be a form of meditation there is a lot of power in choosing to sit in meditation every day. You give yourself that moment to observe, to breathe and to just be. How often do we allow ourselves to have a true break at least mentally? Probably not often enough. Even if it is just ten minutes give yourself some time to breathe, recenter, connect with yourself and be present.
10. Travel or mix up your routine
Changing up your routine and traveling to new places will help you better prepare for life. Reality is continuously changing, shifting and molding into new experiences. The quicker we can fully accept change the sooner our soul can be at peace and we can return to the present moment.
Even if the present moment is uncomfortable I have found that the quickest way to find peace is to fully accept it and be present with it. There are powerful lessons in the uncomfortable parts of life. When your stomach hurts don’t numb out or distract yourself. Instead, experience it fully. Maybe there is a message there and maybe that lesson is to eat more mindfully.
Perhaps you are uncomfortable because someone hurt you. Be present and fully accept what has happened. Once you do that you can emotionally process it better and more creatively find a solution where everyone involved can thrive.
You are a powerful being, just remember that most of your power is contained in the present mindful moment. Right now you have the power you are looking for to find peace, change, or whatever your heart desires most.
Let us know in the comments below what you do to stay mindful in your daily life.
UK Queen’s Statues Torn Down Amid Anger Over Mass Graves for Indigenous Children
This year may have had one of the most muted Canada Day celebrations, but this didn’t stop Indigenous protesters from making their anger felt – especially in the wake of the discovery of over 1,000 children’s bodies near the residential schools run by the Canadian state and church authorities.
And with churches being likely targeted by arsonists for the crimes of Catholic clergy, protesters are now attacking the symbols of Anglo colonialism – namely, statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.
About 150,000 First Nations children were forcibly separated from their families and communities and forced to attend the religious schools which were established in the 19th century to assimilate Indigenous children into the Anglo settler-colonial culture of Canada.
Former students have testified to the horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse they suffered while enrolled at the schools. Myriad children died from preventable diseases, as well as in accidents and fires. Others disappeared when trying to escape. The Commission has denounced the schools for institutionalizing child neglect and for being organs of “cultural genocide.”
The discoveries have churned up deep-seated anguish and memories of the suffering visited upon First Nations peoples, with many lashing out at the symbols of colonialism.
At least seven churches, all but one of which were Catholic, have also come under apparent arson attacks throughout Canada in recent weeks.
In June, a statue of the late Pope John Paul II at a Catholic church in Edmonton was splattered with red paint and red handprints.
On Thursday, July 1, residents in Canada also held organized protests and pulled down the statues of the top figurehead of British colonialism: Queen Elizabeth II, as well as that of her great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Sky News reports that the toppling of the statues was accompanied by the chant, “No Pride in Genocide!”
In Ottawa, protestors gathered en masse at Parliament Hill chanting ”Cancel Canada Day” and ”shame on Canada,” urging an end to the national holiday over the deaths of Indigenous people.
Indigenous groups and Canadian politicians are demanding an apology from the Catholic Church – specifically Pope Francis. The event could take place by year’s end, according to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
However, it remains unlikely that the British crown will offer the same amends to Canada’s Indigenous nations who, like many across the globe, suffered greatly in British Colonialism’s worldwide search for riches and glory.
3 Reasons Why Introverts Are Undervalued in Today’s Society
It’s undeniable that our society favors assertive extroverted personalities with strong communication skills and underestimates the quiet ones. If you are an introvert, you have probably learned it the hard way.
It could be that you felt unseen in the classroom as a child or teen. Or you may have watched your less competent co-workers get a promotion thanks to their social skills.
It feels unfair, but if you think about our society, it makes perfect sense. The consumerist mindset that has become our second nature inevitably affects the way we treat other people. It seems that everything, including our personal qualities and worth as human beings, is translated into some kind of market value.
In other words, to make other people see your worth in personal or professional life, you need to be able to ‘sell yourself’. Yes, this expression alone tells it all.
You need to know how to make a good first impression, say the right things, and be assertive. If you can’t do it, you are perceived as incapable and uninteresting – whether we are talking about a job interview or an informal social gathering.
But it’s not the only reason why introverts are undervalued in our society. Here are a few more:
1. They are less efficient in teamwork
Communication and teamwork skills are required for all kinds of jobs. It seems that without being able to work in a team, it’s impossible to do your job even if your duties don’t involve interaction with clients.
Introverts are much more efficient when they work on their own and are given a certain extent of independence. They thrive in quiet environments with few distractions and interactions. This is when a quiet person gets the chance to unleash their creative self and make good use of their analytical skills.
Most office jobs don’t give employees this opportunity. Office meetings, group projects, phone calls and all the other attributes of a 9-to-5 job make it almost impossible for an introvert to be productive.
2. They don’t like to be in the spotlight
Sometimes it feels like we are living in a society of attention seekers. Today, you are expected to go public about the most personal matters, such as your relationship and family life.
People share their most intimate thoughts and feelings on social media, post updates about the most trivial events, such as what they had for dinner, and upload countless selfies.
Introverts are among those who still value privacy. They are less likely to showcase their lives online or share the details of their personal affairs with the whole world.
At the same time, the quiet ones don’t like to be in the spotlight at social events. An introvert will never interrupt you. They will listen to you and talk only when they have something important to say. This tendency to avoid attention can be mistaken for insecurity and even a lack of intelligence.
3. They prefer to be real than to be ‘nice’
If you want to make a good impression on others, you are expected to be nice. But what does it mean to be ‘nice’ anyway?
In an introvert’s mind, it equals saying things you don’t mean. Quiet personalities will never bombard you with compliments or say meaningless social pleasantries just to win your fondness. But if an introvert said something nice to you, then be sure that they truly meant it.
Small talk is another component of social relationships most introverts struggle with. To them, it embodies utterly dull, uncomfortable, and pointless conversations they can perfectly do without. For this reason, introverts are often mistakenly believed to hate people.
The truth is that they don’t – they just crave stimulating, meaningful conversations and choose their social circle more carefully than extroverts.
In my book, The Power of Misfits: How to Find Your Place in a World You Don’t Fit In, I write about the reasons why so many introverts feel inadequate and alienated from other people in today’s society. It all goes down to social expectations this personality type has to deal with from a very early age.
But the good news is that every introvert can overcome the negative effects of these expectations and find the right path in this loud, extroverted world.
The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix
More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.
One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.
Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.
What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?
Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.
What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?
Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.
The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening
With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.
You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.
Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies
Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.
The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.
The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.
This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.
Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.
Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”
To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.
This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.
In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.
There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.
Wake Up Neo — You Are the One
Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.
Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”
This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.
By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.
If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?
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