If we are victims to anything, it’s to our thoughts. Life is not what makes us uncomfortable, emotions aren’t what plague us, it’s what we think about it all that causes our suffering. When someone leaves us and we think, this is the worst thing to happen to me, it becomes the worst thing to happen. When we fail at something and we think, I am not good enough to succeed, then we start to believe that. When we think we’re empty and we can never be whole, we stay with our hole.
But, we do not need to be victims to our thoughts. What we think doesn’t need to become our truth. We can choose our thoughts, focus our mind on what we want.
Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present and not being carried away by our thoughts. Practicing it every day, trains our brain to recognize our thoughts and not try to change them, not try to fight them, but to accept them, allow them to pass, and bring your mind back to where you want it to be.
To begin, pick one activity or habit you do every day. For example, brushing your teeth. And while you brush, bring your awareness to the entire process. Mentally note every step.
I am putting toothpaste on the toothbrush. I am picking up the toothbrush. I am putting it in my mouth. I am brushing the bottom right side of my mouth. Back. Forward. Back. Forward. I am brushing the top right side of my mouth… etc. until you get to I am spitting in the sink. I am wiping my mouth.
After a week of being mindful in this activity, pick a second and repeat the process for both. Then add another and another until you’re practicing mindfulness throughout the entire day.
And on the days you forget and get carried away by your thoughts, let it be. Thoughts happen. Every day is a new day. Every breath is a new beginning. As soon as you’ve noticed, simply resume the practice. Even if practiced sporadically, over time, the technique takes hold and your are more aware than you were before you started.