Sept 2017 - Mindfulness – Focuses Intention but can also be Challenging...

'Mindfulness' seems to be a growing Trend and this year (2017) commercially seems to be a bit of a 'Bandwagon'. But this is not a bad thing because it is essential to personal growth and it is great that it is being embraced by more people and that there is more choice in the route you can take. According to Google, the use of the term 'Mindfulness' has been growing steadily since the 1950's and has increased dramatically since 2000, not surprisingly probably as a consequence of greater information availability on the Web. It has even been adopted by some large companies to help their employees be more productive. But it may not all be plain sailing...
So What is Mindfulness? Basically it is about being fully in the present moment and being able to observe your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, giving you some objectivity rather than being immersed in them and overwhelmed. It is a skill developed through meditation, which can be in many different forms from focusing on a physical activity (I used to do it while washing up!!) to sitting quietly at peace for 10 minutes or more. It is not only a skill you learn once by going on a course but it requires practice and can become more a Way of Being, 'Being Mindful', rather than a technique labelled 'Meditation'.
Why is it Challenging when it's meant to bring Inner Peace and Greater Clarity?!
Part of the skill in aiming to stay in the Present is that your Mind is challenged to sort information into Past, Present or Future... a huge reason as to why we get stressed in the first place.
Much of what we think about is either Past events that we cannot leave behind or what will happen in the Future... and further on from that... how all the events correlate together.... this is the challenge of training the Mind. So Mindfulness is not only about observing your thoughts and feelings, although that is the initial aim to help you manage yourself but it is also about you training your Mind to sort and organise your experiences sub-consciously rather than consciously thinking about them all the time! Stress!!
Not all Plain Sailing?... A report last year (2016) in The Guardian UK Newspaper detailed several cases where meditation seemed to bring 'negative effects' such as panic and anxiety rather than peaceful inner focus. As with any form of Personal Growth, when you feel more empowered in your current situation, you step onto the next part of your Life's Learning Curve! This is a natural evolutionary process. It can however be very frightening and you may not even consciously know why you feel the way you do. Do not give up! Realise it is part of the process of you moving forward. Go with the Flow, use any self-empowering techniques you know, learn more if you need more.... it is all part of your Growth. . . Step Forward <3

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