Practicing mindfulness is like training your muscles to be stronger.
I know that if I give attention to my physical body by focusing on my intention to make it stronger and more athletic, it takes effort (energy) and repetition. As my training changes, my body learns to adapt. My physical body changes.
I now know that if I give attention to my whole self by focusing my intention to be my authentic self, it takes effort (energy) and repetition. As my life experiences change, my inner being learns to adapt. My neurological systems change.
This is the practice of mindfulness. This is the path towards living my life of possibility, passion, and integrity. Just like I train my body, I can train my inner being to be my naturally awesome self.
I spent last week with two teachers: Coby “Noel” Kozlowski (www.cobyk.com) and Terry Fralich (www.mindfulnesscenter.org). I learned skills to cultivate my positive, natural state of being; I learned more about myself and being myself. I realized that I’ve recently let my “roles in life” define my vision of me, rather than letting my various roles be a vehicle for expressing the real me. I realized that when my role is in a typical business environment of competition, comparison, and judgment, I can still be the natural me who cooperates, collaborates, and accepts. And better yet, I saw a path for practicing my life more in tune with being me. Upon reflection, I drew the following mental model:
The model just allows me to put some meaning to what I learned… it’s basically a rope with a core “being”, directed towards an end “vision”, wrapped with various roles in life, and intertwined with others (all connected). It is intended to remind me that my life is an experiment in which I will learn to fully express my naturally awesome self through a mindfulness-based yoga and meditation practice… with intention, awareness, attention (energy), and repetition… and a realization that this practice for me is deeply connected to my vision (dharma), my interaction with others (community), and my connection to the miracles of our natural environment (Universe).
In all of this, I train myself to bear greater adversity.
Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being me!