Turn Off Your Autopilot

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
Viktor E. Frankl

Time flies by at an incredible pace, sometimes the work days seem to pass at a snail’s pace causing one to wake each morning grateful to be one day closer to the weekend. The weekend arrives then it’s gone faster than we realize because our mind wasn’t living in the moment of the weekend either. We continue to stumble through life, lost.

We spend the next 5 days going through the cycle of wishing our life away again in anticipation of those 2 sweet days off and still we coast through them on autopilot. Before we know it we find ourselves at the pre-holiday marker wondering where the year has gone as we look ahead and realize that we only have quarter of it left before we ring in the new one. What is the goal of life? What do people pursue? What do people live for?What keeps people moving when joy is replaced by woe, inspiration by hopelessness? In a mindless, busy world, we need to be mindful to live a meaningful life.

Mindfulness is about paying attention in systematic way for no other reason than to be awake because so often we spend lots of time living in the past or the future, planning or perhaps worrying then being upset about what did or did not happen. We rarely take the time to be in the moment to create, love or enjoy which is all that we really have. We choose to whiz by the present moment in hopes of getting to a better moment such as the weekend or a vacation. We hope that when we reach that time it will all fall together perfectly. Often times it doesn’t because the conditions are not right, once again we find ourselves not being present in the moment.

What Is Mindfulness?

Being mindful means paying close attention to what’s happening in the moment. Put simply, mindfulness is about being present. In that way, mindfulness is about observing. You notice your life with a little distance, instead of reacting emotionally.

The Basics of Mindfulness Practice

  1. Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion or any other special equipment to access your mindfulness skills. All you need is to set aside some time and space.
  2. Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness in not quieting the mind. The goal is to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement.
  3.  Let your judgments roll by. When we notice judgments arise during our practice we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass by.
  4. Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. Mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
  5. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just recognize when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.

 

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