Being Mindful of Who You Are

Not to get all new agey on you, but I’ve found that this really helps in a lot of situations.

One of the core precepts of Buddhism is mindfulness. Mindfulness is tuning in and paying attention to who and where you are right now. It anchors you in the present moment.

Now, it’s not always easy to be mindful. The world is a loud, crazy, and fast-moving place that we’re often swept up in or buried under. But I can tell you from experience, once you get good at locking into the moment, a good many things get easier.

Finding a Calm Point

Probably one of the most useful things that comes from the practice of mindfulness, is the ability to find a calm point amid all the chaos–both internal and external.

It’s one of the main ways I deal with encroaching panic or self-consciousness. If I take a moment and focus on the details around me right now, a lot of the worries about later vanish. Or, at least, quiet down enough so I can think more clearly.

Focusing on my own breathing is the way that tends to work best for me. There are tons of other ways to get into practice, though. Here’s a nice listing of ways to practice mindfulness.

Once you  have a calm point to start from, moving forward is easier. It lets you start from a more firm, grounded, position.

Mindful of Yourself and Others

Most often, mindfulness is applied on a solo level. It lets you get a clear picture of who you are now. When done correctly, it can give you the insight to dig deeper into yourself when you’re asking those hard questions or to determine if you’re reacting to something out of fear.

But mindfulness can also be directed externally. You can learn a lot about the world around you by quietly paying attention to it. You can learn a lot about other people by quietly–or not so quietly–paying attention to them, too.

The key to being mindful of others is to quiet your own mind when dealing with them. In short: Pay attention! When they talk, listen. When you ask them a question, listen to their answer. When they ask you a question, wait until they’re done to start thinking of your answer. Revel in their presence.

Heck, it can even be used to make intimate moments more intimate.

So, when things get a little crazy out there–or in your head–fall back on some age-old traditions to help you lock yourself back into the here and now.

Be mindful, then flow forward, as the person you want to be.

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