Happy New Year. If you are like most people, you want 2018 to be better than 2017. You may have goals to spend more time with loved ones, improve your health, make more money, or take that dream vacation.
You may even have monthly, weekly, and daily goals — the must-do action items to take, in order to achieve what you want.
Here’s the kicker: There is not enough action in the world to compensate for not being mindful.
What exactly do I mean “by mindful”?
Some describe it as “sharpening the axe” — being deliberate at the beginning of each day to quiet your mind through meditation. “Sharpening the axe” so you don’t have to work as hard to cut the proverbial trees down. Starting each day right so any challenges you face, you will be able to do so with more ease and less stress.
Some call it “being in the zone.” Haven’t you had days where everything just worked out perfectly? You encountered green lights at every stop, there was no line at the place where you buy coffee, you are just in a good mood all day and everything worked in your favor? Then there are days when nothing seems to go right. The old saying, “When it rains, it pours.”
It all begins with quieting the mind at the beginning of the day. And done with enough regularity, you can actually shape your day, your life. Efforting — doing something you don’t want to do, but feel like you have to — is too hard. When you quiet your mind, you receive inspiration, which will fuel any action you take. And that action won’t feel like work. Instead, it will flow, feel like fun and exhilaration, and it will be easy. Who doesn’t prefer ease over stress?
Mindfulness also includes being aware of how you feel. When you start to have a thought or feeling you don’t like, you have the power to change it by shifting your focus. Often times, the worst thing one can do is to be so consumed in a problem, you can’t see the forest for the trees. Shifting your focus away to something that’s working well in your life, to be in a state of appreciation, can bring you a solution.
I was resistant to meditation when I first began in the spring of 2017. I accept more and more now that action will get me only so far. Mindfulness is the nitrous that will fuel any action I take. I invite you to join me. It takes only 15 minutes at the beginning of your day.