Learning to care for ourselves is maximized as we also begin to develop the characteristics of mindfulness. The changes taking place in our perception of the world around us as well as within us leads to new ways of looking at ourselves and the relationships we have at home and at work. James Baraz shares that “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”
How do we begin to cultivate being mindful?
It begins by:
- Becoming more aware of the habit of categorizing people and events as good, bad, or indifferent and avoiding these labels.
- Gaining the wisdom to know and accept the fact that some things must unfold in their own time.
Fostering a beginner’s mind that is open to life’s experiences
- Seeing things as if they were happening for the first time; allowing ourselves to be receptive to all possibilities.
- Trusting in ourselves and our own wisdom as well as enabling trust within others.
- The ability to deeply experience the present without the tension or goal to achieve….to simply “be.”
- Receiving things as they actually are rather than how we wish them to be.
Letting go; allowing yourself to not become attached
- Allowing thoughts, feelings, and experiences to come and go without getting entangled within them.
As you go through your day, allow yourself time to reflect on these characteristics and the events of your day. Remember not to label your experiences as good or bad, but rather accept them just as they are. You’ll begin to see new possibilities within each moment as well as grace for yourself and others.