Love yourself and others every day, Vail Valley
Vail, CO Colorado
It’s Valentine’s Day again. It comes around once a year. Do you really need a reminder to be loving to your partner? I want to be mindful more than once a year. I want to be mindful of what I’m feeling in each moment. I want to be mindful of my thoughts and of my actions. Mindfulness means paying attention. Mindfulness means that you are aware of each moment. Mindfulness means that you don’t play games by pretending you don’t recognize what you’re doing or saying. Mindfulness means that you live in the present moment, not in the past or the future.
Think about the past or stress about the future and you are no longer present. The present moment is different. If we are attached to past events and continue to re-create them, we are removed from the present. If our past is full of fun and frolic, we may feel we want to keep that feeling today. But, if you’re not experiencing today’s fun and frolic, you may be missing out on new experiences.
If our past was full of pain and trauma, we may want to flee any memories of it. The fact is, your desire to flee the past is actually holding you down as it takes full control of the present. Your past does not define you, but you can hold onto it enough that you believe it does.
Each moment is new and refreshing if you let it be. In Buddhism, a mindful life is the path to liberation. No matter what your philosophy of study, a little attention in each moment can go a long way.
Here are tools to learn to be in the present:
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
1. Walking meditation. In just five minutes, you can be completely present. With each step, pay attention to which foot you are placing down. Think right foot, left foot. Notice how it feels to place each foot on the ground. Is the ground soft or hard? Is your step stable or wobbly? As the very brief five minutes pass, notice how your attention is more focused on what is happening right now. You cannot be thinking of walking, taking each step with intention, and be thinking of the past or the future at the same time.
2. Breathing. A minimum of twice a day, take three minutes to breathe. Sit or lie down ” whatever feels more comfortable and opens your spine. Breathe deeply into and lower than the belly. Breathe slowly in and very slowly out, breathing out all the breath. Use the stomach muscle to empty the breath. You cannot be thinking of the past or future while you’re taking in and letting out conscious breath.
3. Meditation. In yogic science, they state that it takes 12 seconds to meditate. Twelve seconds of peace. Sit and close your eyes and just BE for 12 seconds. That is a state of meditation. More is better, but in our busy days, 12 seconds is better than nothing. Give yourself the gift of just being.
Mindfulness, being present, consciousness, or awakened are all states of presence in the moment. It doesn’t matter how you get there, just that you do. When we are present, we give the energy and presence of the heart. Being mindful to our own being is so important. We give to others from that place within us that is cared for and loved. From this space within us, we can love our partners, friends and co-workers every day and feel proud that we do.
Catherine Zeeb holds a doctorate of philosophy in metaphysics. She has a private therapy practice in Edwards. You can visit her Web site at http://www.healing-spirits.net.