Finding Your Way - Through Your Why

Tag: mindfulness

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Misbeliefs on Meditation and Mindfulness

If you are like most people, you have many misbeliefs on meditation and mindfulness. However, you need not be most people. You can find the time, practice meditation and mindfulness daily, and reap the many benefits that it gives us. All you need to understand is what meditation and mindfulness really is. Once this framework is understood, you can be on your way to meditating multiple times each day. This will help calm the mind, and open your intuitive pathways to more insight and guidance.

Misbelief #1 – Meditation takes too long

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Too many people picture the practice of meditation taking up hours of their day. This is one of many very big misbeliefs on meditation. People often don’t even begin to practice because they don’t think they have the time.

The fact of the matter is that mediation can be as short as 30 seconds of quiet time. It need not take up hours of time.

Chances are you have many opportunities throughout a given day to meditate. Do any of these moments in time sound familiar?:

  • riding on public transportation
  • going for a walk or run
  • sitting down to eat
  • driving to or home from work
  • or any other mundane daily task

These as well as many other moments of time throughout our days are all opportunities to meditate. We have more time than we often realize to create space, pause, and practice mindfulness.

If nothing else, dispelling the belief that meditation must be “so many minutes or hours” of time is crucial. Once we get past this first hurdle we can move onto another misbelief – to meditate we must clear our minds.

Misbelief #2 – To Meditate properly, I cannot allow any thoughts into my Mind

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There are a lot of people that have misbeliefs on meditation and mindfulness because they believe they aren’t doing it right if thoughts enter their minds. This is so damaging because most people can’t avoid this when they first begin. They instantly want to give up since they think they are doing the practice incorrectly. The fact is, even very seasoned and experienced practitioners of meditation watch thoughts creep into their minds while meditating.

The trick too kicking this misbelief to the curb is to allow thought to enter the mind. Observe it and then quickly and quietly dismiss it.

You will find it often and frequent at first to see thoughts coming and going into your frame of reference. This is completely normal. Dismiss the thought and tell yourself you are here in this time to observe the practice of meditation. Do not beat yourself up or become discouraged if thoughts continue to enter your headspace. Simply acknowledge them and let them go. Bring yourself back into the present moment and continue to put out the intention of practicing meditation.

The more you make the effort for a few minutes each day and continue to allow the passing thought, the more you’ll find yourself with periods of calm mind and thoughts.

Misbelief #3 – Meditation must be done in a certain posture

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The above image is a typical representation of what most visualize meditation to look like.

The fact is that meditation can be done sitting, laying, standing, walking, running, and in many other points of posture. This is one of the biggest misbeliefs on meditation. For myself, the typical “sitting lotus” position is not comfortable. I prefer sitting in a chair, with my back relatively straight and my feet on the floor, or when lying down.

You need to find a position that you’re comfortable in. Once you find what works best for you, then work to get your body and breath work in proper synchrony.

The position of the hands can become relevant for certain different types of mediation, but the placement is not overall related to the practice of meditation. The key is get your body relaxed and comfortable so that your mind doesn’t naturally wonder due to your body being uncomfortable.

Explore and find what positions work best for you. There really is no one best position that works better than others.

Misbelief #4 – I’m going to see immediate benefits

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While you will feel more calm and collected immediately upon completing any amount of time of meditation, the vast improvements in your life come later.

Like in all things, the real benefits take some time. We’ve all heard the analogy of working out in the gym – muscles don’t grow after just one workout. We need to apply ourselves routinely in order to notice changes. The same can be applied here.

Over time the many benefits become noticed. They are, but are not limited to, the following:

  • lowered blood pressure
  • lowered anxiety
  • increased focus and awareness
  • increased levels of intuition and “gut instinct”
  • ability to enter “flow state” and maximize idea generation

All it really takes is a small amount of time each day or even small increments multiple times a day. I find myself making a game of it to see how many times in one day I can bring myself fully into the present moment. This is one simply way of practicing meditation – the more presence you attain in one day, the more you are practicing meditation and mindfulness.

Misbelief #5 – Meditation is hard

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Another one of the big misbeliefs on meditation and mindfulness is that it is too hard.

This is simply not true. The fact is that meditation is actually quite easy. All you need to do is rewire your mind to understand that anytime you bring yourself into the present moment – you’re practicing meditation. You become more mindful when you are not dwelling in the past or future. There are many great benefits to becoming more present in life.

When you frame it up this way, you can really make some great progress in the meditation and mindfulness space. Think of all the times through the day you get stuck in forward thinking aspects of life or issues from the past. Just make more of a commitment to bring your thought and focus into “the now” or present moment.

There may be no better way to do this than observing nature. I find nature as the most calming and ever present aspect of life. Perhaps this is because nature itself isn’t stuck analyzing itself. It just simply – “is.” There is no past or future in nature. The time is always “now.”

So even if you’re stuck in traffic, in a boring meeting, or worried about a future project; just take a peak outside or get outdoors and notice the present beauty in whatever is happening. You’ll likely find you have far more ability to meditate and practice mindfulness than you once realized.

Here are some easy steps to get good at using nature to become more present.

What misbeliefs on meditation do you have?

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I’m sure those reading this have heard of the many significant benefits in meditation. However, they often talk themselves out of getting serious about the habit.

Part of my purpose in life is to remove limiting life beliefs for people that don’t see themselves in the most empowering light.

Are there any other aspects of life that deter you from the ability to make a great daily mediation habit? I’d like to hear them so that we can together work to dispel any misbeliefs on mediation and mindfulness that keep us from attaining greater levels of happiness, wellness, and meaning. As well as sharing any best practices that help aid the cause towards more meditation and mindfulness.

Please feel free to share a comment or perspective. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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Knowledge isn’t Power Until Acted Upon

Many of likely heard the phrase “knowledge is power.” But few realize the very important aspect of taking action. Therefore the truth in life to attaining your highest level of self, is understanding the proper formula. The fact is that once you have knowledge, you must take action and use that power. This is why knowledge isn’t power until acted upon. Knowledge + action = highest level of self.

Over my life I have been guilty of consuming and consuming more information and knowledge. And while that is great, it doesn’t do us much good if we don’t put that knowledge to good use.

Here are some tips that you can put in place around the mental, physical, personal, and professional aspects of your life to ensure you take proper action from the knowledge you consume.

Self-Care of Mind and Mental Abilities

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Chances are have all likely heard of mindfulness and meditation by this point in time. The benefits of each are astounding and can help us in profound ways both personally and professionally.

There is so much information out there are the benefits of mindfulness and meditation that is can be overwhelming. So gathering information on this topic isn’t hard. Applying it however sometimes can be challenging. How to practice mindfulness in small easy steps is the way to go. Don’t bite off so much information that you fall victim to paralysis by over-analysis.

You can begin with daily journaling. Start by either beginning to write out what you want to accomplish for the day, or end your day with thoughts of accomplishment. Being able to capture your thoughts on paper is one important aspect of realizing knowledge isn’t power. Taking the action of reflection certainly helps in regard to becoming more mindful.

And becoming more mindful is a great way to take action in regard to improving your overall mental health. It’s one of the most important aspects of self-care in my honest opinion.

Improving Your Physical Health

knowledge isn't power when it comes to health. We have to take action in order to become healthy
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There may actually be more information available on caring for physical health than there is for mental health. Regardless of which one is the winner here, we can likely agree at every turn we can find the latest health craze information. That never means we’re going to benefit and become more healthy from simply reading about the latest diet trends.

The best way to put our physical health knowledge into action is to find what we most enjoy doing. Are you a gym junky or an outdoor fanatic? Do you like accountability partners or would you prefer to hold yourself accountable? Do you need to change your diet or is it more about getting more active? These are questions we need to answer for ourselves before going to the next step.

Choosing to take action in our health is of supreme importance. We cannot serve the world or others without taking care of us first.

Once you decipher through the loads of information out there on health trends, decide on whether you are going to spend time on your physical health during the morning, afternoons, or evenings. Once you decide, stick to it.

Then, you can begin to find what type of exercising you most enjoy. Combine that exercise to your favorite activities. For example, if you enjoy Yoga but like being outdoors – easy – do Yoga outside. Same goes for running. We don’t need to bore down on a gym treadmill if we want to enjoy running outdoors. You can even do your weight lifting outside if that is what you prefer.

They key is find what works for you, and combine it with activities you enjoy. It will keep you far more motivated and ensure that you deliver on commitments.

Improving Personal Relationships

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Knowledge is certainly not power in the personal relationship aspect of our lives. So much information exists on relationships and how to improve them. It is absolutely incumbent upon us to take action and do our own work in this area if we want our relationships to improve.

There is a lot of great knowledge out there on “love languagesand what each of us prefer our partners to affirm for us. Once we understand each others love languages, it’s time to take action.

The key here is to really work this into our daily lives. The time we spend with our partners is critical to the overall happiness of the rest of our daily lives. If there is a problem at home, that problem will spill over into the other aspects of our mental, physical, and professional life. So this is a important one.

Begin with carving out one night each week to affirm your partner with their love language. If that is cuddling and watching TV, make one hour for that. Maybe it is affirming your appreciate for them and mentioning what one thing they did that you really appreciate about them.

Taking this simple and meaningful action will reap major rewards at home and ripple positive in all other aspects of your life.

Serving Yourself in Your Professional Life

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With all the Leadership books out there that exist it can be hard to decide where to begin in order to gain your edge in the professional world.

Start with looking for what it is that you personally need to grow with. Ask peers, direct reports, and even subordinates what it is they think you need more growth in. Then go seek out that information.

If you have a job or career that involves any travel, downloading the learning and taking it with it on travel time is a great way to digest it. There are many ways to invest in yourself in today’s highly technological society. If you work from home, you’ll need to be more diligent and perhaps plan in the listening on morning or evening walks. Or plan some old school reading for fifteen minutes before bed each night.

The key here is upon finishing what you have spent time on learning – put it into practice. Develop a presentation, share a recap, or simply begin putting your newfound practices into daily use. Show the people in your business around you that you care enough about your personal development path that you want to share your learnings with them.

This will go a long way for those in your professional life to begin to take notice that you are person of action.

Summary – Knowledge isn’t Power

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What this all boils down to is understanding we can consume and consume more information for the rest of our lives. We can think we are quite knowledgeable about many facets of life, but until we take action on what we learn we aren’t bettering ourselves.

What habits or activities have you learned over time that help you take action from the knowledge you gain in life? How have you seen these actions improve your quality of life?

Would love to hear from you and engage in the conversation…

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