Labor Day Thoughts for Mindfulness

Today is Labor Day. After tossing and turning all night, at 3:30am, I decide to get out of bed. The mind is a curious thing. I lay in bed thinking, planning and trying to force myself to just shut down and sleep. My brain had other plans. I was thinking about my children, finances, my business,  family dynamics, how to solve world peace (ok, not really), but pretty much everything else. 

I go make a cup of coffee and sit outside in the darkness. As I sit and drink my coffee, I listen. It’s so quiet and serene in my backyard. Even the birds are still asleep. There are no airplanes, cars, voices, tv, or phones pinging. It’s just beautifully quiet and peaceful. I am relaxed and not thinking about what my day is going to entail, or what problems are ahead this week. 

What’s the goal?

My mind wanders to the thought of Monks who take a vow of silence and suddenly I get it! It’s so much easier for me to just relax and clear my head in this silence. There is nothing to distract me, nothing to influence my mood, or CAUSE me to feel uneasy or stressed out. The concept of Meditation which is taught and practiced by any and all “enlightened” or “inspirational” teachings is exactly this: JUST QUIET YOUR MIND.

Why is this so hard to do in our everyday lives? We are humans seeking interaction with everything. All that we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell affects us. We are a programmed species of observers. That being said, we also are not adept at separating what we witness from how we would like to feel. Notice I said , “how we would LIKE to feel”.  Rather, we say, “I feel this way BECAUSE of what I am experiencing”. 

Shield of Protection

In my book, “My Dog is More Enlightened Than I Am”, I discuss the “heart guard”. This is the invisible shield I create around myself that I envision to say, “I won’t let this negative thing or person affect my well-being”.  Yes, it’s easier said than done, but with practice, it trains your thoughts to prepare for what you will observe as you head into an undesirable or unknown situation. 

In Abraham Hicks’ teachings, she states, “If you can’t change a negative thought to a positive one, change to a neutral thought by not thinking about it. In other words, just distract the thought to focus on something else. We can do this by intentionally listening for a specific sound. Our minds then seek a different thought.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you just had an upsetting conversation with a family member. You are thinking about all of the things they said that were hurtful, all of the comebacks you didn’t get to voice. Now stop, go outside, sit down in the grass, close your eyes, and listen for how many different bird calls you can hear. See? you didn’t have to force yourself to stop thinking, you just refocused your conscious mind to reroute. It’s like a GPS for law of attraction. 

Labor of Love

As a Life coach, I am consistently reminding my clients that change takes time. We have established beliefs, thoughts, and habits over a long period of time. We are so hard on ourselves regarding expectations. Whether it’s achieving goals, such as weight loss, addiction, habits, or relationships, we want it NOW! It’s great to stay focused on the end goal, but just recognize the behaviors that have built the “problem”. Then, you will be able to integrate the new patterns of change you want. But be patient with yourself. Be loving and compassionate with who you are and how you got here. 

Imagine yourself in the middle of a crowd and being able to shut out all of the sounds, smells, and sights. That is the mastery you want to achieve. Turning our attention inward is the most important way to control your emotions and actions. 

Enjoy the silence! Listen to YOU! Look in the mirror! Speak  kindly to yourself! Feel mercy and compassion for your journey and what your purpose here means! 

Happy Labor Day! With Love and Blessings,