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Mindfulness

Ripples #956: Being Awake.

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Ripples #956: Being Awake.
Sept 18, 2017

PEBBLE
The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, shared by Holly in Phoenix, AZ

BOULDER
It’s interesting to think that no matter how far you are from yourself, no matter how exiled you feel from your contribution to the rest of the world or to society — that, as a human being, all you have to do is enumerate exactly the way you don’t feel at home in the world — to say exactly how you don’t belong — and the moment you’ve uttered the exact dimensionality of your exile, you’re already taking the path back to the way, back to the place you should be. You’re already on your way home.
-David Whyte, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

PONDER
Managing time and stress are two of the more popular topics I’m asked to present on at professional development conferences, so I make an effort to keep my eye out for research, articles, and blog posts that help me keep current. An increasing focus in both areas is the topic of mindfulness: being more fully present in the present moment, and being nonjudgmentally aware of what is going on within and around you as you move through your day.

While I’m a strong believer in the power of optimism, the goal of being fully awake isn’t about just noticing the good stuff. It’s about being able to identify the unpleasant aspects of life in a way that allows us to be more conscious of their impact and also empower ourselves to take actions to help improve our situation.

I came across an article recently that suggested happiness might be more effectively achieved not by denying our unhappy feelings, but instead acknowledging and allowing them: https://www.thecut.com/2017/08/youll-be-happier-if-you-let-yourself-feel-bad.html. I also came across good reads about emotional resilience and emotional diversity:
https://heleo.com/5-strategies-building-emotional-resilience/16209/
http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/08/emotional-diversity-is-more-important-than-happiness.html?

The gist of these articles is that rather than ignoring or suppressing what we sometimes view as “negative” emotions, it is healthier and more productive to recognize them and notice how they are impacting you.

If there is anything bugging you right now, perhaps you can see it, describe it, and accept it just as it is, without judgment. Then wait just a bit to notice whether its negative impact might diminish or dissipate as you move through your day.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
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