I’ve been fascinated lately with the subject of “mindfulness” and living in the moment. I just finished a great book about meditation and its benefits called, “Mindfulness ~ Finding Peace in a Frantic World.” Now before I go any further, let me clarify what it means to meditate. Meditation doesn’t mean emptying your mind of all thoughts because we all know what happens when there’s a vacuum (things rush in to fill it!). True meditation means getting quiet on the inside. It means slowing down your thought processes and experiencing what “is” rather than your interpretation of what “is.” In other words it’s about getting out of your own head.
There is an epidemic taking place today in that folks are no longer living and enjoying life but instead are spending their lives analyzing and cataloging and double-checking and over-thinking! It seems we have so much information available to us that we can’t seem to get outside of our own heads. It’s funny that we criticize young folks for not thinking enough and acting rashly, yet at the same time admire them for being spontaneous and free. It seems like the older you get, the more cautious you become and pretty soon everything is dangerous, everything is scary, everything could bring some trouble your way! And while you are basking in your comfortable safety, avoiding all that might get you, life just rolls on by with you no longer a participant in it. You have become in a sense, entangled in your own web. That beautiful processor that takes over your drive to work, while you sip your coffee, adjust the radio and read a text message, also volunteers to take over your life.
Being mindful and aware is about getting outside of your preconceived notions of life and setting about to experience it anew. It’s about taking a fresh look at things. And apparently it’s easy to take a fresh look when you are 20, but how about when you’re 50? We think we know so much, but in reality we don’t know anything. It’s that processor man, that automatic pilot! It’s habit man (or woman) that just does it the same way they always did it while expecting nothing to change. The problem with that is that life is dynamic and all about change. At some point, your old habits no longer serve you, you are serving them! Same old tired opinions; same old worn out assumptions; same old soured and cynical view of life – ughh!
The remedy? You gotta get outside of your own head for a bit. I don’t mean turn it over to something else, I mean stop thinking and rethinking and get out there and live. What if something goes wrong? Ohh emm geee! What if there’s a worse alternative – death by boredom! Change your habits; change your routines! Go hang out with a young person! They aren’t bound by the clock or the day of the week! Isn’t it more important to spend an evening with the people you love and not get enough sleep for work the next day than to stay at home and commit mental suicide with your DVR? (haha) Go a day without makeup! Dive in the water and get your hair wet! Quit obsessing over the fact that you have a one inch bulge on your belly or that your butt is too big or that your legs aren’t long enough or that your hair is turning gray. Thank your wrinkles for reminding you how much you have laughed in your life and for reminding you, you may also have spent too much time worrying as well! Live man, just live. Oh and while I’m on a rant, silence that inner critic that has fooled you into thinking that you aren’t good enough for anything. Has that little voice inside you that magnifies everything you ever did wrong and is silent when you’ve done right, ever really helped you get better? Do you know anyone that was ever successfully shamed into being a better person? Living inside your own head, all over your own back, only serves one purpose and that is to keep you weak and afraid and defeated. Get out there and live!
And there’s a very simple way to do it. Quit making it all about you and make it about somebody else. You can stop “pretend” living inside your own head by making the decision to change your focus from you, yours and now to him, his and how or if you prefer her, her’s and how! (smile) What can you do to make someone’s life better? What can you give (that you have to give) to help someone else along the way? What warm, loving energy can you bring to the room or the conversation or the mood? Who can you go and visit? Who can you call or text? My barber told me the other day how God told him to pull over and talk to a young man walking down the street and give him a little cash because he needed it. And although he clearly heard it, he kept on driving. You know why? The same reason I, I’m ashamed to admit, have gone past that thing I was supposed to do as well, because I’m too caught up in my own head and what I normally do and when I normally do it! (I mean what would people think?)
You see folks, the beauty that is this life is full of new things, new experiences, new people, but we are never going to recognize those things while we are caught up in our own web of living inside our heads analyzing everything from here to breakfast! Quit second guessing yourself and make a bold move! Tell someone you love em! Talk to that stranger! Don’t ask what everyone else thinks, but get back to what YOU think!
You’ve only got one shot at this thing Spiderman. Break out of that web of your own weaving and take a breath, a new, fresh breath where this is no fear. See what’s all around you and experience it to the full. Live your life now Superhero, right now!
Just some good thoughts…