From Full Mind to Mindfulness

What is stillness? Simply a lack of movement? As you move through your daily life, stillness would probably not be an adjective you would use to describe your mental state. You are busy, you have responsibilities, and you are good at what you do. This takes a full mind, a mind always thinking about what to do next. A mind prepared to deal with conflict. A mind ready to tackle anything, whether it's a toddler's temper tantrum or capturing a multimillion-dollar account for your company. Who has time for stillness when you've got so much to do?

You do, because stillness will take your full mind; empty it out; give it a good, thorough cleaning; and transform it into a mindful mind. What does that mean? A mindful mind is like a mirror that is meticulously polished. It reflects what is really there and nothing else. When you become mindful, you learn to suspend everything you believe about yourself, others, and the world. Your limits, your shortcomings, your fears, what people have told you that you can and can't do—all these are put on hold. What's left is the real you, and your possibilities are limitless. Mindfulness takes courage. It can be scary to look at the real you. But if you take a good look, you'll have new power. You'll understand who you are like never before.

And, as your self-concept expands, so will your concept of the world. Everything is within your grasp. Yet you aren't grasping—you're simply living, achieving, and being the best person you can possibly be. Have you heard the phrase "optimize your hard drive"? That's not just for your personal computer. Yoga optimizes the hard drive in your head! This involves extending your meditation to your daily life. Once you've made meditation a part of your life, you can gradually learn to carry its principles with you throughout your day. When negative feelings arise, gently push them away as if they were balloons. Look at them, note them, acknowledge them, and then let go of the string. If people are unkind, unfair, or judgmental of you, you can learn to gently push these balloons away, too.

Meditation in daily life means remembering the peace and stillness you've learned to achieve during regular meditation, then finding that peace and stillness throughout the day. The real you will shine through best when you're in touch with this inner peace.

To help yourself meditate, think of all the definitions of yourself you know. "I am a teacher." "I am a father." "I am bad at math." "I am talented." "I am shy." "I am lazy." "I am well-meaning." "I am jealous." Now pretend these definitions are untrue. Just pretend. Then look beyond. What's left is the real you, and you may be surprised at what you see. Surprised and pleased, as if you've met an old friend you haven't seen in years ... maybe even in lifetimes!

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