I hope you've all had a good weekend and have managed to catch some glimpses of sunshine!
Over the weekend I read a novel that was easy to read yet had an important message. Two of the main takeaways from the book for me were:
1. being present and actually experiencing each moment
2. awareness of how our thoughts and beliefs about something create a filter that changes how we see things
Hmmm, and in normal language please?
1. Being aware of our 5 primary senses. In this moment as you are reading this, what are you seeing, hearing, feeling (touch), smelling and tasting. You might be eating or drinking something while you are reading this - what does it actually taste like, what is the texture like in the mouth, what does it smell like, what does it look like? How often do we eat and not even notice what the food looks like?!
This is like the poorly worded phenomenon of mindfulness. Except the whole point is to get out of our minds and thoughts and into our bodies. We want to experience what is actually going on right now. Whereas what tends to happen is we experience life through our thoughts and stories about what is going on, or what is going to happen tomorrow or what happened 5 years ago. Eckhart Tolle calls it living in the Now.
2. When we become more present / mindful / in the Now we start to realise that it's often our thoughts and beliefs about something that make us feel bad rather than the reality. These thoughts and beliefs may be our own or they may have been planted in our mind by something we've read, something someone has said to us (often as a child) or something we've seen. They're often not our thoughts or beliefs at all! How amazing is that.
In Tansy's book The Weight of a Woman the story is around someone with a larger body and how her thoughts and beliefs influence how she feels about herself which in turn creates behaviours that make her feel worse. The same concept can be applied to many situations - our thoughts and beliefs about our jobs, children, houses and lifestyles.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like to get an idea of how being in the present / mindfulness can be worked into your every day life but just wants an easy read. It's a fictional story but I think you might just find a little bit of yourself in it somewhere.
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