Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Mindfulness Is to Me

Mindfulness has helped me a great deal in my healing from issues in my life. It is through mindfulness that I figured out who I was, and organized my identity. Mindfulness to me is not the same as it is on all the Zen blogs and new age websites. Mindfulness to me is about being aware of my present state of mind, feelings, emotions, physical sensations, thoughts and intuition. Mindfulness is about being open and connected within myself. I can't tell you all the benefits I've gained from this practice! Mindfulness has been one of the most important tools for my healing and personal growth.

When I'm talking about Mindfulness, I'm talking about several things, so I'll try to describe here. First, Mindfulness to me means awareness. Awareness of everything, such as:
  • How I'm feeling
  • How my body feels when I feel this way
  • Where the pain is
  • Where the joy is
  • What I'm thinking
  • What I'm doing
  • How others are responding to me
  • Where my emotion at any given moment is residing in my physical body
  • What I'm telling myself about certain situations
  • My inner critic, internal judgments
  • My needs, wants & desires
  • My best interests overall
  • Anxiety, Fear, Panic, Negative emotions
  • Happiness, Joy, Bliss, Positive emotions
  • Substitutes for feelings
  • Addictive Behaviors, Habits, Patterns
  • Relating with others
  • Intuition
  • Internal Warning Sensors  
  • Cognitive distortions
  • Internal contradictions
Mindfulness for me goes a step beyond awareness, to the realm of trust. Trusting in these sensations, feelings and intuitions of myself... Mindfulness helps me to establish a foundation of trust, security and belief in who I am, what I need and my right to be, feel, know and do at any given moment. Mindfulness is my core-root of beingness, the seat of my soul, the wise part of me that watches and rules (whenever possible) over my cognitions, beliefs and feelings.

Mindfulness to me is an internal guidance system that I need to stay tapped-into if I am to operate my life in my own best interest, which in effect, serves the best interest of others. It was only once I learned to be the "observer" of myself that I was able to comprehend who I am, how I feel about specific experiences, and how to guide myself toward my highest good. It's a learning process. I'm still growing...

The practice of Mindfulness helped me discover who I am. I did not know who I was until I started being mindful, paying attention and focusing on my feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. The more in tune I am with my internal workings, the better I am able to function effectively and keep myself intact in face of emotional harm.

If you are raised in an abusive environment, one that is invalidating to your soul, you may not be connected to the internal guide within your heart. This was me. I was detached from who I was because my feelings and sense of self respect were not validated and fostered in me as a child. It was only after I learned to TRUST my own internal sensations that I was able to operate effectively and to protect myself from boundary violations. Learning to trust myself also helped me to know what I needed and to get my needs met.

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