As we wrap up Mindful May, many of us are completing the 21/31 Challenge. With that, we’re experiencing small victories along the way. Before joining the challenge I had a very basic grasp of the concept of mindfulness. Once the challenge began, I slowly started to develop a deeper understanding of mindfulness and I subconsciously began to realize and practice these other valuable habits:
1. Changed Perspective – I think the most profound thing about mindfulness is the fact that nothing around you actually changes, it’s your perspective that is changed. Mindfulness teaches you that your perspective is the fountain from which everything else flows, and then allows you to control it.
2. Self Awareness – mindfulness and self awareness go hand in hand. Being self aware allows us to address the darkness inside of us. While this may be painful, you may also find that being self aware allows you to accept all the beautiful truths of life.
3. Radical Acceptance – If there is one thing you can guarantee, it’s that life will surely knock you flat on your butt when you least expect it. These are the days when mindfulness is essential. Mindfulness has taught me to embrace the bad. I’ve learned to remind myself that the bad times, like all things, are only temporary. There is beauty and truth in every waking moment.
4. Letting go of comparison – Like many 20-something year old girls, comparison is a battle I’ve struggled with for a very long time. It’s easy to look at someone else and think “Man, they’ve got it all… why can’t I be that happy?” We are so hard on ourselves. When I started practicing mindfulness, comparison was something I forgot to do. I was too focused on my intentions and my thoughts and appreciating every moment in the day. Before I knew it, comparison was a habit I had broken, and for that I’m forever grateful.
5. Being present – With mindfulness I’ve realized that every moment before this one has brought me here. And that will always be true. How beautiful is that? In fact, if you’re reading this take a deep breath in gratitude and think about how truly amazing it is that you’ve made it here today. Being mindful gives you the chance to forgive yourself for your mistakes and congratulate yourself on your accomplishments, after all- they brought you here.
6. Patience – Probably the most valuable lesson I’ve learned, that has equal benefit for me as it does for others, is patience. Now when I’m met with conflict I take a step back and remind myself “they’re doing the best they can.” And aren’t we all? Compassion is a beautiful virtue that we sometimes forget about. When you mindfully decide to make compassion a priority, you will start to find peace within yourself and facilitate peace in others as well.
“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare