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If you made it through yesterday’s combat move with money, you will find today a breeze. Today is about being mindful which means the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It is about focusing your awareness on the present moment while being calm about your own feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. For example, you may find yourself in the middle of conflict. To be mindful, you would be focusing on the conflict, you would be aware of your own feelings, but you would not get overwhelmed by them. You would not charge into the conflict in an argumentative way. Jon Kabat-Zinn a famous teacher of mindfulness meditation and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way. On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
Be Consiously Aware
For example, I was eating an English muffin this morning, and I noticed I was wolfing it down really fast. As soon as I became mindful of this, I began to be consciously aware about how I was eating it. I slowed down. I chewed. I noticed how much longer it took me to chew the food. It suddenly changed from eating an English muffin in a mindless way just to get it down, to enjoying an English muffin and noticing how it was sustaining my body and spirit.
Being a Life Warrior
Will I be able to do that every time I eat? No. I know myself and I know that sometimes I just eat food very fast. However, I am working on being more mindful because I enjoy enjoying my food. I did this recently with alcohol. I became mindful that I wanted to stop drinking alcohol. Now before you stop reading, because you enjoy a drink of wine or a cocktail before dinner, please do not worry. Being a Life Warrior does not mean you have to give up a glass of wine. For me, it’s just something I wanted to do. So I became mindful of it.
Stopping a Habit
I had read about a lady who wanted to stop smoking. She had tried many times, and she decided that every time she had a cigarette she would say to herself, “I hate smoking. This tastes nasty.” And she said this even while she was smoking the cigarette. She did this day after day, for quite a long time. Then suddenly one day, she was about to have a cigarette and she thought, “I don’t want this, it tastes really nasty.” And she stopped.
Tell Yourself What You Want to Happen
I decided to try it with alcohol. Every time I had a drink of wine, I said to myself, “This tastes really bad. It’s like poison.” And what happened was really amazing. A few weeks later, I had drunk a couple of glasses of wine with friends at dinner, and that night, I woke up feeling absolutely terrible. My stomach was in so much pain, I could hardly bare it. The next day I realized what had happened. I had been telling myself that wine was like poison, and I believe it literally poisoned my body. Not in the long term…but I definatley need to choose my words more carefully!! Thankfully, the next day I felt absolutely fine, and it put me off alcohol, which is what I wanted. Now I have not had a drink of wine for a few weeks. I don’t expect to drink again.
The Buck Stops Here
Today, what do you want to be mindful about? What is in your life that you want to give up? I have a family member for example who is a shopaholic. She doesn’t enjoy much of what she buys. It uses money she doesn’t really have, and at the end of the day she gets depressed about it. Yes, I know what you may be thinking. Depression is a gene that runs in my family. Who knows? Maybe it is a gene that’s been passed down. Whatever it is, I do know that the buck stops here.
Where do you want the buck to stop? What do you want to pay attention about? Remember it is not about being judgmental. We’ve all had enough judgments in our lives and critical self-judgment to last a life time. So this is not about judging yourself. This is about being mindful in the present moment and paying attention to what you are doing. Remember I am with you every step of the way. As you are being mindful, I am being mindful. As you are being non-judgmental, I am being non-judgmental. This is about paying attention. So today, pay attention. Be present in the moment and notice what you are doing.