Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jedi Mindfulness Trick

You hear the word all the time: Mindfulness. "Be mindful" to reduce stress, improve relationships, treat that Borderline Personality disorder, etc. What does it really mean?

mind·ful·nessˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/ noun1.
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
"their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"
a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Aahh, now you get it... blog entry done. No, not really.

Some of you may recognize the Star Wars reference in the title. If you will recall Yoda, (Empire Strikes Back) telling Luke, that he was impatient, that he never had his mind on the tasks at hand, instead his mind always wandered into his fantasy of becoming a pilot "like his father." Now, I have issues with the Jedi philosophy, because they teach that emotions are a hindrance and should be repressed. I think that if Anikin had been allowed to grieve the loss of his mother when he left her to train, he might have turned out better. But getting back to the point. When we meet Rae, whose parentage has yet to be revealed, she is a scavenger. She spends all of her days picking off parts of grounded Imperial Star Cruisers on her desert planet, washes them in, trades them for food. At night, she waits to be rescued. When her powers are awakened, it takes her very little time to connect to them, her mind is clear, she can focus, and she wins. 

She can do this through mindfulness. Yes she has a fantasy life, but it doesn't interfere in her daily life. She can put it all aside until the right time. 

I have been listening to meditation recordings on the Calm app. The voice of the guide is pleasant, which is important to me. The message is that constant thought about everything all the time is exhausting and can make us sick, physically or mentally. It helps you learn to clear your mind and not judge yourself when thoughts peek their heads into your brain. But to just go back to the clear, open blue sky. Thoughts are little, white, puffy clouds that float away. There are YouTube channels as well that offer guided meditation, body scans etc as well, just so I don't plug the one thing I like particularly. 

If you do this a little every day on a scheduled basis, you can do this during times of stress. You can do this during times you need to focus. You can be present in your life instead of being distracted by the noise either around you or in your head. You might even get some good sleep! 

What would it be like to have a conversation with someone you care about where you were completely attuned to them? Or you were sitting on the grass under the tree and felt the breeze, heard the leaves rustle, smelled the flowers on the air? Just present? Not thinking tomorrow is Monday and there are 100 things waiting for me to do... Thoughts and anxiety are ever present, but they don't have to control you. So even if you think what you are doing is mundane, being focused on that mundane thing can translate into other parts of your life when you just might need to save the world!

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