In the past days Marcos and me have given two different classes covering the topic of mindfulness, one workshop at Adidas Runbase in Berlin and one Extended Masterclass at Damn Good Yoga in Hamburg. I deeply believe in the concept of mindfulness, because I myself know how living mindfully positively influences one’s well- being. Mindfulness is so powerful because it allows us to connect to our self and takes us to the present moment. In this post I will explore the meaning of being in the here and now and why it is so important.
Mindfulness is defined as a moment- to- moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensation, one’s internal world as well as the surrounding environment without judgment or attachment, simply observing and accepting what is. Practicing mindfulness automatically takes us to the here and now, as we become aware of what is. Worrying about what has happened and being anxious about what will happen is just too common these days. We fear not being able to achieve certain goals or keep up with a certain standard and worry about the things we have not done. Such a state of mind is often linked to a loss of connection to the self and an enhanced identification with the ideas and lifestyle of others. The result of that is that we replace internal wishes, values and a lifestyle, which would fit to us with those of others. We then seek for things, which cannot make us happy, because they do not originate from our inside, but from the outside. This state of mind and way of living does not get us anywhere and has no positive influence on our well- being what so ever. It will eventually result in unhappiness, nervousness, and constant worrying.
Being present and with that connected to our self allows us to notice what is right now and this has the effect of calming us both mentally as well as physically. There is immediately a sense of relaxation and being ok. No matter how crazy the day is going, how many things we have to do or how large the amount of worries are, bringing our awareness to what is brings calmness. Additionally, it cuts down the amount of things we have to face. Let’s say there is a problem at work, which you have to solve. You feel so overwhelmed because at the same time you think about the issues you have with your partner, your studies, your kids and so on and so on. You can change that with practice and bring your full awareness to that moment, knowing that the problem at work is the only thing you have to solve right now. It is the only thing, which is happening right now. You then take a moment to calm yourself by slowing down and deepening the breath, allowing yourself to feel calm and more focused. Now you can face the problem concentrated and are able to solve it much faster than if you would at the same time be thinking about all the other things.
Life can be very overwhelming. It is extremely difficult to disconnect from the external world and connect to the internal world. Part of that is, as I believe because it can be scary to look inside and be confronted with our internal world, which most of the time does not only come with happiness but with facing obstacles as well. These obstacles however keep growing as long as we don’t face them and one day they will be so overwhelming that it will have to express itself in some way. That can be with a physical problem or illness or in the form of mental issues. If we live mindfully this will most likely not happen, because mindfulness opens up the channels to our self and allows our mind and body to speak to us. We then understand what our difficulties are, can accept them, work on them and let go.
Being present, connected to the self and ok with what is does not mean that we cannot work hard and achieve big goals. Some people believe that we can only make large achievements when we have a certain level of fearfulness and stress, but I completely disagree. Having a joyful and relaxed state of mind with a presence in the here and now does not imply being lazy. We can be just as ambitious with a positive state of mind and a high well- being but the difference will be both in how we experience the path as well as in how we will feel after achieving a goal. A person who lives in the here and now with a strong connection to the self will also have an awareness of the past and future because those time zones are part of our lives as well. Such a person will be happy with his internal world and there is no internal emptiness, which has to be filled with the achievement of external goals. External goals then are an addition and a bonus but not a must to feel good.
Only when we are present in the here and now and ok with what is can we truly be content and satisfied. The past was and the future will be, but the present is. The present is what we experience right now and it is the moment we are in at any point in time. Connect to your self, become aware of what is and with practice your mind will automatically be present and not constantly return to the past or run to the future. Like with most things in life be patient with yourself and teach yourself to be here and now with love and empathy.
Happy day to everyone,