I would like to share a recommendation. While we are in the middle of the summer and we are all taking a few days off, try to practice something, FOCUS ON THE NOW.
What do I mean specifically?
We spend all day long going from thing to thing with VERY busy minds. Our minds don’t rest, we are constantly thinking, as if our mind was always right. Nothing is furthest from the truth. Our mind isn’t always right. We over-identify ourselves with our mind. This behavior creates a lot of suffering for people. However, we can’t blame anyone for this, we are used to it, we were taught that way, nobody told us otherwise! Well, here are a few suggestions to detach yourself from your mind, focus on the now and stop suffering:
1. Focus on the task that you are doing now. Be present. Focus on just ”being”. If you are washing the dishes look at the shapes of objects, the smell, the colors, etc. If thoughts come in just let them go, do not engage and by all means never judge yourself or your thoughts.
2. Don’t dwell on the past or the future. Again, focus on the present. If you need to take into account the past or the future for your work or anything similar, take action immediately to acknowledge the information from the past and/or future and go back to the present. You will increase efficiency, save time, remove negative feelings and overall be happier!
3. If a negative thought keeps coming back, talk back to your thoughts! The idea is always to go back to the present without over-identifying ourselves with our thoughts. However if this is hard, talk back to your thoughts first, they are not always right! Ask the following: Is this true? Is this really really true? How do I feel when I think about it? How would I feel if I thought something different? This is what Dr Amen calls “killing the ANTS” (ie. automatic negative thoughts) As soon as you find a more reassuring thought you can go back to the present more easily.
4. Meditate. The best way to train your mind to just focus on BEING is to get used to that feeling. You can start with 10min of meditation everyday just focusing on your breathing and the sensations coming from your body. Focus on being in your own body, acknowledging the energy coming from it.
5. True happiness doesn’t come from owning things, achieving goals, becoming something, etc. Of course we need goals in life and purpose! But don’t let those aspirations become the center of your mind. You will be free of suffering when you stop always “wanting the next thing”. Achieve happiness by focusing on the present, the rest will come since you will be totally devoted to the moment, you will succeed already!
6. Embrace feelings without overreacting. When you accept things the way they are, you can create a GAP between the situation and yourself. That Gap is Golden, since it allows you to look at the situation, acknowledge it and take action without your emotions interfering in it.
I know that this may sound so hard to implement! But I encourage you to start practicing focusing on the now a little bit everyday, in different life situations. You are going to experience a new dimension and I hope it takes you so close to your inner self that you will finally recognize “your true you” no matter what life throws at you.
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