What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of perceiving the world, inner and outer. It includes living in the moment, being in the now, but also, it is the way you look at your emotions, thoughts, events that are happening to you, your circumstances and the world around you.
The goal is to perceive all events as neutral and just experience them without adding any labels and meaning to them. The goal is to accept all of your thoughts, feelings, and expressions as they come and let them unfold naturally without putting any attachment to them.
If you approach them from that detached place, from the place of non-judgment, if you just observe them to see what happens, how they look, what color they are, how they taste, and what shape they have, then you will see that they have no power over you. You will see through them, you will see the space behind them, they will just dissolve and all that will be left is you as an observer.
From that place, answers and solutions to your struggles will come.
Mindfulness is more than just a practice, more than meditation and more than a stress reduction program. Mindfulness is a way of living and a way of being.
“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.”
~ Sylvia Boorstein
People often get attached to feelings, emotions, and thoughts. They tend to replay pleasurable experiences over and over again, but also tend to dwell on unpleasant experiences. By letting go (not forgetting but releasing attachment) of everything that comes your way, you remain unstuck, in the flow of life.
Being in the now
By letting go, you are able to focus on the present moment, live in the now, and that is the only moment that exists. The past is behind you and you cannot change it, you can just learn from it, and the future is yet to come and the only place from which you can influence its outcome is in the present.
People tend to attach labels to their experiences and judge them as good or bad and view their emotions as positive or negative. One of the mindfulness principles is to not judge anything or add your story to it but observe things as they are.
This means letting go of your rigid view of the world, thinking that your way is the only way, letting go of thought patterns and beliefs and being open to everything, being open to new experiences, other perspectives, and other points of view.
Acceptance means to stop trying to change your reality by force or acting like a victim. With acceptance, you are aware that you can change your reality only by taking responsibility for your life and your actions. By acceptance, you are both trusting and surrendering to life and taking conscious actions to make things happen.