Many of us are often confused with the concept of consciousness. Sometimes we use it as a mere mental activity and sometimes we think it means merely being awake. In our day-to-day activities, we attend to so many chores, big or small. ][But most of these are done mechanically and unconsciously. Even when it comes to some of our simple habits, we are in a hurry to get to the next one or feel that it is a waste of time to give undue importance to small things which we do out of habit.

If we can grow conscious to what we do, we can make a big difference to our lives and enhance the quality of our lives. And we grow our conscious awareness through the practice of mindfulness. Through mindfulness, we get in touch with our individual awareness of our unique thoughts, memories, and feelings.

Since our conscious experiences are constantly shifting and changing, for instance, one moment you may be focused on reading this, the next moment, your consciousness may shift to a memory of conversation you had earlier with someone. This ever shifting stream of thoughts can change from one moment to another. Altered levels of consciousness may cause states of constant stress, anxiety and lack of focus.

Bringing your attention consciously to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, you can develop complete awareness of your thoughts and emotions. Being aware of your mind, body and feelings creates a feeling of wholeness rather than being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

“Peace of mind arrives the moment you make peace with the content of your mind .”

Rasheed Ogunlaru

Mindfulness changes your state of awareness

At the most basic level, mindfulness is simply being aware of what’s happening as it is happening. When you become aware of the workings of your mind, in the moment, you deliberately direct your awareness back into the now and focus your attitude there.

It alters your state of distractedness, inattention, and confusion to being more aware, present, focused and attentive. This helps you to react less to emotional or situational impulses or when things don’t turn out as you expected.

Instead of automatically falling into the stream of past or future that ignites unhelpful emotions, one can draw their attention to their present moment. The more you are mindful, the more is your ability to improve your patterns of thinking. Purposefully concentrating on what’s happening, reduces negative mindset or the tendency to label things as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. You reflect more on the mind to make conscious choices in a state of altered awareness.

Cultivating mindfulness habit into your everyday life

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.

” —Jon Kabat-Zinn

If you are interested in the development and evolution of your own consciousness, the most important thing is to cultivate awareness of your conscious self. By cultivating a habit of mindfulness in our daily activities, you can avoid knee-jerk reactions to your immediate responses and can respond more constructively, and without judgment.

Mindfulness isn’t necessarily limited to certain breathing practices or to focus your attention on certain objects. Neither it isn’t just about knowing that you are hearing, seeing or observing. It’s about doing so in a way that creates space for insight and has more to do with becoming self aware of your thoughts and emotions in the moment, and to take responsibility for your sense of self. By cultivating an objective sense of self you can avoid getting lost in the subjective drama of your ever-changing inner conscious experiences.

Making Mindfulness a way of life

Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

In everyday life we rarely pay full attention to anything. Since our conscious awareness is like a stream, it is constantly changing. The way your thoughts drift from one topic to another can feel effortless even when thoughts you are having are different. And we feel resistance inside of us when we try to be at peace with ourselves. The more we try, the more we become aware of our buzzing thoughts, or emotions. And resistance is born out of our very effort to be peaceful.

Mindfulness on the other is based on the very foundation that we are innately whole, that our emotions and thoughts are messengers, and that awareness is the key. But the most fundamental thing underlying it is that of your ability to accept and respond to your every experience, as opposed to engaging in a reactive or dismissive attitude.

Being open to your experiences in the moment enables you to step back and get a proper perspective on the situation you are in. As a result, you not only stay connected to your experience, but also identify yourself as something more than your experience. This enables you to accept the feel yourself as the spacious openness of conscious awareness.

However, a peaceful mind does not mean a mind devoid of thoughts, sensations and emotions. When we begin to be mindful, we think we must suppress all thoughts and feelings. Concentrating on breath or an object should not done for suppression of whatever is arising in your conscious awareness. Because suppression only leads to avoidance or denial. Instead when you accept, observe and follow what arises in the light of awareness, it leads to enlightenment of your true self.

Mindfulness & State of well-being

Training your mind to be in the present moment is the number one key to making healthier choices.

Susan Albers

Everyday distractions can keep you from experiencing the joy of simply being— a state of body and mind in which you feel whole, grounded and deeply connected to yourself.

State of well-being can be achieved by a regular practice of meditation. And this can be done in different ways. Insight meditation is where you observe thoughts and emotions or sensations that arise in your awareness without judgment or expectation. This increases your focus and helps you maintain your physical as well as mental well-being.

Then there is zen meditation which says you must have a very quiet mind. It involves disciplining oneself, being aware of every moment or developing present moment awareness. Yoga is a form of meditation where you join together the mind, the body and the higher self. But no matter what system you follow, or you go from one to another, freedom is essential as it is the intrinsic nature of the mind. Once you see the truth with your own light of awareness, you will be able to go beyond perception and be available to your moment.

Mindfulness helps in shifting your perspective

Our thoughts are invisible, yet they have power to influence how we perceive the work around us. We experience negative and positive thoughts. They either make you feel you are capable of great things, or they might make you feel you aren’t good enough or helpless at times. Whether it’s thinking that you are capable or that you are helpless, thoughts get their power from our body’s reaction to them. So, when you bring your thoughts into your conscious awareness, you develop an ability to change them or shift your perspective, so your body responds accordingly. It can change your perspective to more positive and more connected to the world around you.

To-do;

Do not limit your mindfulness practices just to few breathing sessions. Extend them to other areas of your life, like for instance, hobbies and activities that you enjoy can be forms of meditation. When you become engrossed in an activity, you find your flow and in a way, you are doing light meditation. Indulging in your creative pursuits can be a great way to be present and mindful.

Slow down when you are doing your daily chores. For instance, making conscious choices in choosing what to eat, chewing your food or eating mindfully, being present to your surroundings when you are walking, or staying aware of your body sensations while experiencing stress etc., can help you tap into feelings of peace and joy.

Practice deep breathing techniques. Instead of taking short rapid breaths, practice abdominal breathing. Slowing down and becoming conscious of your inhalations and exhalations calms you further and increases your energy.

Welcome emotions and thoughts that are present, without trying to suppress or judge. No matter how uncomfortable your emotions may make you feel, remind yourself that they are temporary. Treat emotions as messengers and welcome your experience just as it is instead of negating or denying.

Nourish your intention to be more in being in your conscious awareness. Be patient with yourself and build your mindfulness practice everyday, a little and often. Experiencing your wholeness enables you to recover a sense of unchanging and ever present peace and well-being.

“Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”

Thich Nhát Hanh

As we become wise, we step back and see the mystery of it instead of how it is supposed to be.

Jack Kornfield

Change is a constant phenomenon of life. The basic nature of life is impermanence, which is repeated through the nature with all its seasons and changing existence. As human beings, accepting this very fact of life is often hard.

The idea of change can be quite overwhelming because we associate it with either uncertainty or unfamiliarity. Another factor that forces us to resist change is our comfort zone. Just because something is comfortable does not mean it’s what you want, or even good for you for that matter. 

At other times, we tend to resist change because of our assumptions, expectations or fear of unknown or vulnerability. When we remain in past, we cling to anything that makes us feel safe. As a result, we do not open ourselves to change in our present moment. This is even when we are well aware of the fact that we all change as we go through our lives, or having been experienced other life changing things. 

It is our perspective of change that prevents us from moving forward and therefore, never allow ourselves to be flexible in our thinking. This is the reason why many people go through life just complaining about the results and the outcomes that they don’t want, whilst not always willing to making those changes either in their personal life habits, behaviours or externally, their work or relationships.

The way you respond to change depends very much on your change awareness. You can’t have significant changes in your life without bringing significant change in your inner awareness about it. Making changes in our lives on a large scale requires that we start making changes in our inner awareness. And the key is to take control of your thoughts by getting in touch with wiser part of our mind.

The wise mind awareness

To understand wise part of our mind, it is imperative to understand the other states of mind. Our emotional mind uses feelings as a way to guide our actions and choices. Or in other words, emotionally minded people make emotionally led decisions based on poor logic and reasoning. And not all people operate out of this and some of us operate through our rational mind.

Rational mind is based on reasonings, uses facts and figures to understand things, but at the same time, it makes us judgmental as reasoning guides our actions and decisions. Usually many of us face issues when choosing between emotional reasoning and our rational thinking. 

These states of mind are extremes and over-applying them to changing situations can lead to poor emotional regulation. Reactions in emotional state of mind make reasonable, logical thinking difficult.

You may find yourself distorting facts based on your emotional state. Reasonable mind is though cool is objective. You may think logically using facts, but you undermine your values and emotions. 

We often react emotionally to changes in present, but in response to what we focus on from the past. Because of the past events, we end up making presumptions and guesses about what might happen. It makes us reactive to stressful emotions in times of change. But when we access the wise mind, or our inner wisdom, we remain in the zone of “knowing” what’s right. We enter into a place of awareness. 

Wise mind is the centre of our being and it is that part of our mind where we experience truth, or experience a sense of greater presence, openness, peace and clarity. The core of our wise mind is based on our intuitiveness and it strikes a balance between the emotional and rational parts of our minds.

In other words, it is neither ruled purely by emotions nor by rational thinking, but is governed by understanding and awareness. So, we are aware of what we are thinking, but we are also aware of how what we are thinking is influencing how we are feeling so that we can self regulate.

Wise mind gets activated when you pay attention to your present moment or when one is thoughtful and collected. It gives an inner sense and control, as a result, makes you aware of the changes that are happening around. This makes you in charge of your thoughts so you respond more rather than react.

Non-judgmental awareness is the key

Change however, is never easy, whether it is keeping up with sudden changes in your personal or professional circumstances or whether you are consciously trying to change a certain behaviour or a habit. Most of the times, we experience stressful states and become anxious managing change.

What we can’t see or don’t know keeps us trapped in our perceptions, expectations and interpretations of our past experiences. The better way to deal with this is to have the ability to see your situation or circumstances from higher perspective or wise part of your mind, devoid of judgment, and bias or prejudice of egotistical self. 

How you view and perceive the present situation can change the outer aspects of your life. With wise mind, you can gain awareness of the separation between your past habitual self and authentic self. With your present moment awareness, you can draw emotion as well as the reason to deal with the change appropriately.

Nonjudgmental wise-mind makes you more aware as to why a change is required or about the consequences as a result of change. It reduces stress, frustration or fear by restoring your freedom to choose what you want instead of what your past imposes on you.

The power of making wise choices

Our fast-paced life does not allow us to make wise choices in times of change as most of our decisions get based on reacting to circumstances, devoid of emotional balance and adequate wisdom.

Each one of us is born with a clean slate, yet the experiences and our interpretations we carry through shape our life’s choices. And wherever you are in life, your life up to this point is a result of choices you made. Becoming aware of the power of your choices raises your consciousness towards change. This frees you op further from your assumptions or biases.

Your mind is a tool for you to use in any way you wish. The way you now use your mind creates your reality. The thoughts you choose to think create the experiences you have. If you believe that it is hard or difficult to change a habit or a thought, then your choice of this thought will make it true for you. And it can be changed if you consciously choose to connect to your wise mind awareness.

You can use this awareness to shift your attention to what you want to change and create. When we reside in wise mind awareness, we begin to recognise that change is a natural phenomenon and that it is our judgment to it is what’s causing resistance. So, you accordingly choose to respond to changing circumstances.

Awareness points us to wise choices and you view the change for what it is and not associate it with any past labels. Asking yourself, What can’t I see? or What don’t  I know?or Is there any way that my current perspective or outlook on life might not be accurate? can expand your thinking or your understanding so not to be to closed or be opinionated about anything.

Meditation heightens our wise mind awareness. 

We can only fear or be apprehensive or anxious about change when we live in the past. Because of the past events, we end up making presumptions and guesses about what might happen in the future. 

To develop true objectivity and to develop a heart of wisdom, understanding what we focus on determines how we feel in any given moment is important. And mindfulness  connects us to our present moment. This allows us stop ourselves whenever we focus on something unhelpful, so we can start to discipline ourselves to take a different approach.

With mindful breathing, you become aware how not to allow your thoughts or emotions influence your response to change. Since wise mind is intuitive and operates from balance and harmony, it acts as an inner guidance system. It helps you make wise choices based on truth and respond to your changing circumstances wisely rather than react in stress or anger.

Consciously following your inner wisdom means realising that it’s your choice and responsibility to decide how you are going to respond to change. As you learn to control your mind by the conscious choice, you align yourself with the power to change. 

To-do:

Logic and reasoning can lead to change resistance as it dominates and devalues or distances you from what you already intuitively know to navigate through change. You need to let go of logic sometimes when you believe in an idea. Instead listen to what your inner voice tells you. 

To improve your change awareness, it is important to differentiate between a rational or emotional choice and a wise choice. You can do so by listening to your inner instincts. The better you trust your physical senses, the better equipped you will be in accessing your wise mind awareness. 

Paying attention to your breath frees you up to go beyond your analytic mind to hear your deeper self. It helps you to trust wise part of your mind and will make room for you to make wiser decisions in times of change. 

Avoid constant comparison with others and need to compete with others to validate your self-worth. Develop intrinsic self-worth by questioning your assumptions and by avoiding the need for external validation of your choices. 

Practice gratitude and look on the bright side of things. Even though change can have a negative effect on your life, in most circumstances, there is always something to feel grateful for. Treat it as an opportunity or a way to rediscover what you truly want.

Moving forward….

It is easy to get overwhelmed by change and let it take control of your emotions. But you can always get in touch with your inner wisdom to put these changes into perspective. Wise mind awareness leads you to reflect on why exactly you resist change, what are the consequences and what better choices you can make. 

You have a choice when life presents with events in your present situations. Your intuitive wise mind makes you consciously aware of your present moment. It clears the emotional blockages that cloud your judgment and perspective when it comes to accepting change. When you are aligned with its awareness, you recognise that power lies within you to change and you will be able to better navigate any situation with a sense of clarity.


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Your authentic self

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A different perspective

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