When we are living with our minds full we are often unable to truly be in the present. We are sorting, sifting, shifting through an overload of information, thoughts, and ideas. We are often on autopilot and giving answers and responding from habit. We are tuned into a static-y station where we can hear and see things, but clarity is compromised. What we are seeing, what we are hearing can be true to what is actually being said/done, but it can also be like the game of telephone where the information received is at best a slightly distorted form of the original or at worst a completely different end from the beginning. In the game, it is fun and funny when things get skewed. In reality, it is frustrating, interferes with understanding, and can be harmful to our relationships.
Mindful, on the other hand, is tuning into the moment. Being aware and focused. You can really see the details, the facial expressions, the colors, the individual(s). You can hear words, and nuances, sounds, and the silences. The textures, the tastes, the movement … they are not lost to the inconsequential because you are in the moment, fully present, and aware.
Asking questions such as why and what and how are vital to mindfulness. If we do not know our why, then what and how can be aimless and we may end up being and doing things that are not in alignment with whom we are or want to be.
Why do we do what we do? Why do we act or react as we do? Why do we believe what we do? Without getting to the root of our “why”, we may be living in ways that are not beneficial to us, or to our partners, to our children, to our friends or co-workers. We might think we are doing what we are supposed to, when we don’t even know if that is accurate, necessary, or true.
What are your goals, your dreams, your desire and purpose in life? Knowing your unique “what” can be the foundation for your “how”. You can set steps to achievement, you can better understand realistic time frames or even if something is achievable during the particular season of life you are in. Perhaps, more important if achievement is possible, what or who might be positively or negatively impacted if you do something now versus later, or put it off too long instead of taking action now?
How you go about your life can be of great importance, as well. Are you spinning your wheels instead of gathering traction? Do you steamroll others or respectfully interact with them. Do you communicate effectively with the audiences you are part of, at any given time? Your character and your values are reflected in your how. Are you living in such a way that you are being true to the principles you claim to believe in and follow?
All of these things factor into how mindful we are living each day of our lives. How mind-full we are can complicate how present we will be. Be purposeful in living life in such a way that you can come to the end of it knowing that which mattered most, was not lost amongst inconsequential happenings, or opportunities were missed because mental clutter and mindless options became the default you chose from.