There was never an intention of writing having any meaningful outcome other than I enjoy it. Some of it might make it on the blog, some of it will not (and trust me, you wouldn't want to read it). It has been a little over 3 months that I have been sitting down to write each night, simply because I enjoy it and have learned a lot about not only myself but life in general. I will share with you what I have learned and hopefully it will resinate with you in one way or another. I believe you will love deeper, broaden your mind and even enhance your overall well-being. Your experience might be different - there is no science to this other than simply sharing with you what I have personally witnessed in myself.
[Those of you who know me, you're probably wondering what had gotten into me. The answer is, I don't know but the impending thought of fatherhood has brought out values I never quite understood so I am sharing them with you.]
MINDFULNESS is a word we often take for granted (or never consider) with all of the distractions we now have in our life seeing as we are constantly connected in multiple different forms. We are always looking for instant feedback - spending little time thinking or paying much attention to how our actions affect others. This happens in an, unattended, selfish way most of the time. Quite frankly, most of us don't really know what it means to be mindful - I am still learning myself, so I won't claim to be an expert. However, I can tell you that there have been several moments in the recent past that writing has made me realize I am doing a better job LIVING IN THE MOMENT due to being mindful, giving deep thought to those around me and being thoughtful about the immaterial things that brings pure joy to our lives. Perhaps, the most relevant recent example is the birthing classes I have been attending with my wife. Never did I think I would take interest in any of it. The truth is, it was incredibly freeing to spend that time with my wife, not worrying about a single other thing we have going on - simply focusing on the task at hand, without distraction. And guess what? It was interesting and I would even venture to say, fun.
We often use the term "self-aware" to mean the same as mindfulness (at least, thats the natural intention) but I have come to learn they are two very different things. Self-awareness is a simple act of understanding what impact your actions have on others - good, bad, indifferent. Being mindful is much more at an emotional and empathetic level - you spend time synthesizing, observing and absorbing what is around you at a much deeper level then only being self-aware. For example, I might be sitting in a meeting thinking "man, I sound like I don't care because the topic is uninteresting" - that is self-aware - it ends there. Being mindful would take self-awareness one step further - taking actions to change the behavior and live in the moment with a sense of optimism and positivity.
Mindfulness and making an active effort to live in the moment has actually taught me to RELAX in ways I never that I would ever achieve. The more relaxed I become, the easier it is to become mindful and live in the moment. It has become important to find time to set time aside to listen to music, read a book, explore general intellectual curiosity - this has helped become a more mindful person and has taught me how powerful it is to relax as it is a key driver for all other aspects of our lives.
Mindfulness results in living in the moment and mindfulness is easier when we find ways to relax. Find time for yourself - it's not selfish - it is life and required. Push your loved ones to do the same. The benefits can be endless if we remove ourselves from the distractions and attempt to lead a truly purposefully driven life.