How mindfulness helps us change our lives

I wake up in the middle of the night, feeling an overwhelming sense of fear. 

“What’s this about?” I ask myself.

All sorts of fears run through my head, not enough work coming in, clients not making progress, my son not being happy, my health… What they say is true: “FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real”, especially when you wake up at 2am for no apparent reason.

So, I call on my favourite meditation techniques. First, I concentrate on my breath.

I don’t try to control it in any way, I simply observe my breath as it comes in and goes out.  

As it comes in, I notice my breath is cool and as it goes out, I notice it’s slightly warmer.

This Anapana technique helps focus my attention.

Then, I move to Vipassana. I scan my body, observing sensations from head to toe and back to head.

As I’m meditating, I notice I feel the anxiety in my chest. It feels like a sensation of tightness.  Following the technique, I don’t dwell on it. I simply observe the sensation each time I move my attention from head to toe and back again.

Each time my attention moves through my chest, I notice the sensation of tightness – my anxiety – changes and becomes less.  

Soon, the anxiety dissipates and disappears.  

What you observe changes.

In the Buddhist tradition, Dharma refers to the law of nature, and the law of nature is this: 

Everything Changes.

Have you ever noticed how the most successful people in life are those who don’t just cope with change, they embrace it?  Conversely, those who fight change seem to be swimming upstream against a roaring current. 

Mindfulness helps us stay equanimous as we experience, embrace and create change in our lives.  

Calls to action  

Journal

  • Which changes in your personal and professional life do you need to accept?  

    Mindfulness helps you to observe the thoughts, feelings and sensations that come up as you’re working your way towards acceptance.
  • Which things in your personal and professional life do you need to change?

    Mindfulness can help you change the habit patterns of your mind, as you work to change your behaviour, and the behaviour of those around you.
  • How do you identify what needs to be changed, and what can be changed?

    Mindfulness helps you to stay focused on your purpose, prioritise your high-value activities, and embrace the things you need to learn in order to effect change.  

    Then, it helps you let go of the things you can’t change, as well as the things you could change, but would be a distraction.


Habits to work on

  • Try to use mindfulness when you feel anxiety during the course of the day. Observe your breath (Anapana), observe sensation on your body from top to toe and back (Vipassana), or observe your five senses.  
  • Observing change. We’re neurologically wired to fear change. Mindful techniques help us observe rather than act on this fear. When feeling fear about workplace and life changes, take a moment to simply observe breath, body, your feelings and sensations in the body without judgement.  

Make sure the decisions you make about change come from a place of responding rather than reacting.  

Let us know how you go!

Keep moving forward,

Cholena xo

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