The new academic year will soon be upon us. Some parents will see their child head off for university. You may look at this as freedom-at-last: your child will be leaving home, allowing you to do what you have longed to do all these years. Some of you will fear the empty nest syndrome. And for others, possibly most, a mixture of both.
I've never considered myself 'intuitive' in any way - until the Myers-Briggs personality test told me I am in fact, far more intuitive than I reckoned. Up until then, intuition suggested someone who acts on instinct, and gets it right every time. I would consider myself way more cautious, and definitely a fact-checker - as well as an over-thinker.
A recent convert to mindful living I've been slowly trying to change my life. So far I've made some significant steps to a better existence. My attitude to work is the biggest change. Instead of mindlessly driving myself into the ground trying to do a great job, I'm still doing my job well but with a few simple tweaks.
Waiting sometimes seems to take forever. And what do we do while waiting for someone or something to happen? Eat, drink, talk, listen to music, watch tv, bite the nails, send messages, get annoyed, pick an argument with someone, stare aimlessly at whatever is in sight - anything to relieve the boredom and frustration.
Yeah, you read that right - do nothing. It's not easy is it? What happens when we just sit quietly? Thoughts; I should be doing this or that, glimpses at past events and conversations, daydreaming about happy events, guilt for not doing something, anything - the list is endless. It's almost harder to sit still than it is to keep on doing. Isn't it?
Self love is a term often banded about in spiritual enquiry and I touched on what it means to me in my blog post on vitality last week. It is not some selfish indulgence, as our minds might lead us to believe: in fact, it is quite the opposite. In order to love others fully and without judgment, conditions or limitations, we must first love ourselves in this way.
It's hard to motivate yourself to go outside in grotty weather, but we are group creatures. Socialising lifts the spirits. Invite friends round to watch comedy shows on TV. Or tap into your inner child by going as a group - male as well as female - to a shopping centre or department store to have free makeovers at the beauty counters.
What do you mean I'm holding on? I'm trying to forget it but the wretched thing just won't go away! That's exactly the point. Your head wants to get rid of it but your mind is holding on - without you realising or knowing why. Eventually your holding on will form a habit and that is how you will tend to react to situations.
Do you ever find yourself rewinding the movie you're watching over and over again? Do you have to read the same paragraph multiple times? Most people are unmindful several times a day; simply being unaware of their surroundings or what's going on. Practicing mindfulness improves both your mental and physical health.
What exactly does "conscious living" mean? In a nutshell, it means to be aware of your thoughts, speech and actions in every moment without causing harm to yourself or those around you. This basic approach to life may sound simple, but after centuries of tribal conditioning, living with absolute awareness requires deliberate observation and on going personal development.
I liken 'Mindfulness' similar to any other new activity or skill we wish to master and bring into our life. In other words just as an instrument will not learn itself, needs practise and dedication, so does a change in our thought process. In whatever way we wish to enhance our life and well being, we have to put in the effort.