Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.Buddha
We’re a very outcomes-based society, aren’t we? At the end of the day, it’s about the profit margins, the bottom line, or what we were able to check off our to-do list for that day.
In a world where the self-help industry is worth more than $10 billion, the doing, action-taking, and constant need for growth seems to be our goal. But you know what else? The mental health industry accounts for $89 billion of our spend. Suicide rates continue to rise year over year. Whether we’re seeking a life coach or counseling, these numbers show us there’s a disconnect.
We’re not happy. We’re not satisfied.
Much like physical needs (food, shelter), we seem to have emotional and spiritual needs that aren’t being met.
Because we forget that the human condition requires us to bring balance to everything.
Consider this: when you’re stressed, there’s something that’s not balanced (maybe you’re overworked, and not spending enough time playing). When you’re feeling sad, there’s something not balanced (perhaps you haven’t taken enough time to connect with people you love, spending too much time alone). When you’re feeling angry, there something not balanced (have you been giving too much away, vs. receiving?).
In this day and age, we’ve gotten really, I mean really, good at focusing on growth. The constant going, doing, and not enough time spent on being. When’s the last time you turned off your phone and unplugged from emails and others’ demands for your time, and truly just spend sitting outside on your deck?
Allowing yourself this time to be out in nature, just sitting there and being still, is absolutely necessary if you want to live this life right. Not even leisure activities like reading or listening to a podcast is allowed at this time.
Sit and breathe. Focus on your breath for a few minutes. Notice your body. That’s all – breathe. Sit and notice shades of colors you’ve never noticed on leaves before. Smell what it’s like to be outside. Close your eyes and see if you can feel the difference in the material of your shirt compared to your pants. What’s it like to hear the different sounds around you? Can you hear your heart beat? If you tried, could you taste the coffee from breakfast on your tongue?
You don’t need to sit and meditate for 15 minutes to feel plugged in. Mindfulness simply requires you to be here, right now. Not thirty minutes from now, or back at last night’s picnic. Just here.
Remember that you’re a kickass, godspark and spiritual being that chose to have this human experience. You’re not the sum of your actions or your accomplishments. Enjoy the experience, it’s why you’re here.
Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.