The Truth About Mindfulness In The Midst of Changing Times

The Truth About Mindfulness In The Midst Of Changing Times and What You Need to Know :: Practicing Mindful Living :: Self Improvement :: Path of Presence :: Evelyn Foreman :: Elaine Gallagher

It is an exciting time at the Foreman home!!  We are preparing our move 2,000 miles eastbound from the southwest United States to Manhattan, New York City.

Moving containers were delivered to us last week to prepare us for our cross-country relocation.  This time around, we have decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get packed up.  We will be here until June 1st, which means, our time is no longer indefinite.

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Moving, as In Life

One does not know what they have until it’s gone. Relocating and leaving a town and a community has enabled me to appreciate sincerely the blessings that are my life. 

We know that as our time comes near, we have another opportunity to experience our “lasts” here in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The many cross-country moves I have experienced over my lifetime have been extraordinary paths to practice the mindful art of presence.

As our time here is limited, I can’t help but look at how moving out parallels our one precious life.  We are here for a short period, and then, we move on.  The expiration is similar to my perspective of life: that we are here, in this existence as a human being, for a short period, and then, we move on.  

How precious is that? Knowing that something is not forever, in this case, my time (both here in my current residence, and here, as a human being walking the Earth) helps to motivate me to get off my tush.  

The question beckons, “While I am still here, what else do I want to do or experience?"

Presence of Mind in the Midst of Change

Rather than being caught up in the chaos of moving, the question of asking myself what else I want to experience (or do while I am still here) reaches me on a deeper level.  I become mindful and present that even through the process of uprooting, I can choose to be available to live genuinely.  

Instead of being caught up in the frenetic energy that comes with chaos and change, I am mindful of the more profound gifts that change offers.

Asking myself what all I "want to experience or do while I am still here,” allows me to contemplate and mindfully be with what is. 

Although our culture generally expects us to answer a question immediately, my practice of mindfulness for this week is to notice how I am answering the question: “While I am still here, what else do I want to do or experience?"

My practice is to notice, and be aware of, how I feel about what comes up as answers, reserving the right to contemplate and continue asking, “Is that it? Is there more?”

Self-inquiry, without judgment; allowing, without censorship; merely noticing what comes up is how I practice mindfulness this week in the midst of change.

As I take the week to be present and mindful of insight, self-inquiry and the action of moving, Elaine Gallagher answers the question of mindfulness beautifully in her guest post below.  

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What is Mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious of something. Mindfulness is mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them, without giving thought to a right or wrong way to think or feel in a given moment. 

When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we are sensing in the present moment rather than concentrating on or rehashing the past or imagining the future.

It has its roots in Buddhist meditation yet has entered the American mainstream in recent years.  Many studies have documented the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in general while inspiring programs in schools, hospitals, prisons, veterans centers and more.

As most of our lives run on autopilot, we often have wandering minds and are not present in our own lives.  It is so easy to lose ourselves in this autopilot state for most of the day and every day.  Thus, we fail to realize the beauty surrounding us. 

We don’t listen to warning signs from our bodies, and we are stuck in our constant state of action in life that we are just getting stuff done and not living.  Mindfulness is taking our lives back, taking a big step back and counting our blessings and the beautiful parts of our life that we fail to see as we are running to the next activity.

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Being engaged in the present moment is a hard task to achieve.  Many of us who enjoy yoga have attempted this for the brief time of our class and our meditation in a calm setting.  

Besides yoga and meditation, we can extend mindfulness into the rest of our life.  Seeing everything with full awareness every day can lead to a more peaceful existence.

As  I continue on my wellness journey, I think of mindfulness and how hard it is for me to concentrate on a moment in time without drifting in many different directions.  I have practiced mindfulness in my yoga and Pilates classes.  

I am now striving to add more mindfulness to my daily life, just one moment at a time.  When you watch your daughter dance in a recital, don’t recall the shopping list you want to remember, but instead embrace the beauty of that moment as it will soon be gone and just a memory.  

It is difficult to get out of autopilot so let’s try it one moment at a time. [End Guest Post for Elaine Gallegher]

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The Only Moment We Truly Have is NOW

When we practice getting out of autopilot, we become present, even for a moment, with what is unfolding in front of us.

The truth is, the present moment, right now is the only moment we’ve got. We no longer can do anything about the past.  Each moment that passes is a fleeting moment: fragile, temporal, and never to be seen or experienced again. Each day that passes is gone - we can never relive it. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever and becomes a memory.

The future is yet to be, and if we attempt to focus solely on our future, we will miss what is in front of us, right here, right now.  

This very precious moment is the ONLY moment we have. 

This awareness motivates me to regard each precious moment of my life priceless.  When I am sleeping, I am fully present to sleep, allowing my body to rest and regenerate.  When I am eating, I am present to the gifts of the flavor I savor in my food.  Even when I am melancholy, I immerse myself in the experience that is.  My presence to life is a choice to embrace life wholeheartedly.  

On this holy occasion of moving, I, too am allowing myself to be present, and mindful of the experience of completion, release, and exit.  This inner work requires me to be unwavering in my commitment to love and appreciate every moment that life offers: good, bad and indifferent.

It is a lifestyle choice. Practicing mindfulness in the midst of changing times empowers me to stretch my experience of living. Rather than place to place, from one thing to another, I am here: body, mind, and spirit.  I am processing, integrating and present to what is happening in me, through me, and as me.  What better time than the present to know this as one of life’s most precious gifts?

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Elaine Gallagher on Mindfulness :: Guest Post Path of Presence :: Rev. Evelyn Foreman

Elaine Gallagher is an elementary educator for over 20 years. She has had a blog for over two years which she recently renamed HealthE Living. She is a marketing representative for a wellness club and dedicated her life to be healthier and more focused on exercise, diet and overall well being. You can read her blog and connect with her on social media.

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Dear Friends, What Do YOU think? Your life is what you are present to...

  • What is chaotic in your life that you can use as a path to increased mindful living?

  • Are you on to live in the past, or the future? Are you needing more practice to be present?

  • Do you integrate mindfulness in everyday life?

  • For Those Who Want to Dive Deep: What is calling on your heart that you finally acknowledge?