Sitting and meditating strengthens the muscle of the mind so that we can be more present in our moment-to-moment experiences. Unfortunately there is no quick fix that will take the place of a consistent, steady meditation practice. Training the mind through meditation is important so that we can apply focus and intent in our every day lives. Mindfulness is about seeing the world more clearly and this includes ourselves.
Mindfulness is not only important, I would argue it is essential in an age where swiping and scrolling is ubiquitous. We are so busy trying to work the filter of our Instagram that we may be missing the very experience that we are in the process of capturing. This is a really big deal, because our attention is the most valuable thing that we have. We experience only what we pay attention to. We remember only what we pay attention to. And what we decide to pay attention to in the moment is a larger decision about how we want to spend our lives.
Living life behind a screen is an example of passively partaking in life's brightest moments. But, lacking in awareness can also lead to acting in unchecked, impulsive and intemperate ways. If we are not mindful and intentional, we are more prone to being reactive and ruled by emotions. Everyday frustrations can lead to outbursts or behaviours that we may later come to regret. The person that butts in line… The pedestrian that crosses out of turn… If these seemingly small frustrations can derail our day when we are not living intentionally and mindfully, then consider that when life throws us real challenges, detours and suffering, the non-mindful self is at an even greater disadvantage.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how’ Nietzche
And so, we consistently practice mindfulness on the meditation pillow so that we can integrate it into the checkout line on a Tuesday, and so that we might build resilience to better face our real adversities.
Intentional living can be both macro and micro. It is about discerning our values and aligning them with how we choose to spend our time. And it is also about bearing witness in the moment to our reactions and sensations. The benefit of being intentional in those two spaces is so that first you can decide how you want to live your life and then have the power to follow through.
Mindfulness allows us to draw the roadmap and then also to stay the course.