A recent news story indicated that there is an effort underway to bring and teach mindfulness to leaders of the Flint community. Flint has been chosen to serve as a blueprint for other communities to follow. They said that Flint is one of the first four cities in the country where the whole city is actually embracing the concept of being mindful because mindfulness has been shown to help people with attention and with behavior management, and to help children in school to focus on issues so there are fewer suspensions. Mindfulness will be taught as the awareness of ones thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, and using that awareness in a healthy, constructive manner.
Mindfulness is what we are all about at The Life Enrichment Center. It doesn’t matter what we want to heal in our life or create for our life, it all begins with mindfulness because it is only as we become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that we are able to change our thoughts in a healthy, constructive manner that helps us to create the life we want to live.
It is essential that we become aware of what we’re thinking and how we’re feeling in the present moment because all creation occurs in the present moment. If the thoughts we’re thinking don’t feel good to think, they all still creative. Mindfulness gives us the opportunity to choose another thought that feels better to focus on. If we’re not feeling good within us, we’re not going to feel good about anything around us. But when we feel good inside, life looks a whole lot better to us because those good feeling thoughts we’re choosing to focus on determine what we see.
Mindfulness isn’t about a mind full of chatter. It’s about a mind full of quiet awareness that allows us to observe the thoughts that arise in our mind. But we can only pay attention to what we’re thinking if we’re present where our thinking is going on, which is always in the present moment. It is our present moment intention and attention that shapes and determines what we create for our self in any moment. That is why mindfulness is so important. Mindfulness causes us to be conscious of who we are choosing to be and to pay attention to what we’re expressing, so that we can respond by choice to the moments of our life rather than react through habit. If we want to create anything new, we need to become aware of old habits of thought keep the past coming to mind and actively creating a life that looks like a rerun of a movie we didn’t like in the first place. When our life gets old, we feel old living it no matter what our age.
So often as we talk about the past, we recall every story in vivid detail. And as we think about the past, we feel every emotional reaction we had. We are capable of remembering long past events as if they happened yesterday. But since all creation happens in the present moment, all that thinking, and all that feeling, and all that remembering is simply recreating today using yesterday’s thoughts.
There is a big difference between our being a conscious creator of what we want to experience, and just reacting to people and events around us that seem the loudest and most obvious because what appears most obvious to us is simply what stands out in own own mind. In other words, it’s our thoughts that call our attention to it, and not the other way around. When our mind is habitually rambling, going off in countless directions, our emotions go off in endless reactions. And like all habits, we’re not aware it’s happening until after it has happened and we’re sorry it did. The news story on mindfulness said, “People tend to be reactive and they escalate in situations. The practice of mindfulness will help people calm down and be a little more responsive rather than reactive.”
There are many things we think about in the course of the day. Some feel good, some don’t. But, in every case, no matter what we’re thinking about, we energize those thoughts through our focus on them. If we wait until the day is over to focus on thoughts that feel better than the day has been, the next day will seem like deja vous all over again, with the same situations triggering our emotions and reactions because what we think about all day keeps calling that to our attention and keeps bringing more of it into our experience.
What we believe life to be, i.e., our belief system, is comprised of thoughts we think over and over again. And the reason we continue to think any thought over and over again is because it’s the thought that is easiest to find in our mind. And it’s the easiest to find in our mind because the energy of our belief and focus causes that thought to shine like a light bulb. It’s not only easier to find, but it’s intensity causes it to feel more powerful and true. If we don’t like the thoughts that easily come to mind, or if we want to change a certain thought that keeps coming up and causing us to feel bad about our self or someone else, we need to find a better feeling thought to focus on no matter how deep within us we need to go find one.
A thought is first a thing in our mind, and then it appears as “something physical or emotional in our life. We begin to energize a better feeling thought by telling our self that the new thought is more important to us than the old thought. If we want to experience health in our body, harmony in our relationships, ease in our finances, and joy in what we do each day, we begin by quieting a mind full of chatter, so that feelings of love, peace and joy can quietly fill our awareness and inspire thoughts that will create those experiences in our life.
We could say that there really is no yesterday. It’s gone. Whether we’re looking at a faded photograph, listening to a nostalgic song, smelling a familiar fragrance, or touching an old fabric, the only reason the past seems to affect us now is because we are seeing, hearing, smelling, and touching those memories in our mind by focusing on them in the present moment.
We can’t do one thing about yesterday. We can’t change it or bring it back. Whether our past haunts us or calls to us, all that is really left of yesterday are kindnesses for us to enjoy today and loving thoughts to enrich the present moment. As we choose good feeling thoughts over and over again, we energize those thoughts with our focus, and they eventually become the first thoughts that come to mind. And when they are bright enough to get our attention, they will light up our whole life.