The holidays are rife with obligations. As the calendar fills to the brim, you may start feeling overbooked and overwhelmed. When you get scared or are in a hurry, your mind tends to speed up. When you speed up you become disconnected from the present, or disconnected from the way things really are in any given moment. In this disjointed state, you are merely reacting to life. You may think you are making choices, but actually you are existing on autopilot. Reactionary living causes suffering. You tend to say and do things that you regret later. One way to break the cycle of reactionary living is through the practice of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is also known as meditation. There are many, many forms of mindfulness and meditation. One example of mindfulness is to mentally give a verbal label to each in-breath and out-breath. Each time you breathe in, you think (e.g.) “rising,” and each time you breathe out, you think “falling.” In this type of meditation, the breath serves as a tether to the present moment.
“You will notice the mind continually chattering with commentary or judgment. By noticing this, you have the ability to careful decide whether those thought have value. Most often, you will see that “thoughts are just thoughts”—the thoughts themselves have no weight. You become free to release a thought (“let it go”) when you realize that the thought is not concrete reality. You become free to make a choice in any given moment.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
I’m inviting you to create or reconnect to a practice of mindfulness. Pay attention to your body when you speed up, breathe, and slow down. Reactional living is no way to live a happy life. Be gentle and practice well.
Tip: Write down “breathe” on a piece of paper and put it in the places where you speed up, like your car.
Article by: Sevin Philips, MA MFTI
Quote by- Thich Nhat Hanh