Mindfulness is a matter of being aware of yourself. To put it simply, mindfulness is recognizing, acknowledging, and knowing what is inside your own head.
For many reasons that terrifies a lot of people. Scared the shit out of me for a lot of years. Why? Because outside influences can make you fearful of what you will find inside your own head.
I know a lot of people who have told me the reason they won’t meditate or spend too much time getting into their own head is that either
(a. they cannot quiet their mind
(b. they are afraid of what they will encounter if they go into their own mind
(c. they haven’t the time to be still, meditate, otherwise reflect inwards
(d. all of the above
The trouble is, at least in my experience, when you don’t work on the awareness of your own mindset it is really easy to get blown off course. When you have a lot going on and don’t give it attention, plus a wide assortment of outside influences, if you don’t actively work on being aware your subconscious takes control.
What happens when your subconscious does the driving? You wind up planting seeds that, if you were aware of them, you otherwise wouldn’t. Those same seeds, when they begin to grow, tend to manifest as doubt, depression, and various and sundry fears.
Before you know it you are on a psychologist’s couch discussing various issues, and/or taking Prozac or another antidepressant, and/or fighting an uphill battle on your own, and/or a combination of all of these.
This is why awareness of what is in your head is an inside job.
The outside world demands your attention
It is super-easy to get caught up in the insanity of the world outside of yourself. I totally know how frustrating, upsetting, enraging, depressing, and hopeless this can make you feel — because I have felt it myself.
Scroll through Facebook or Twitter for any amount of time, and before you know it the latest ludicrous statement from Trump, news about Brexit, burning forests, greed, corruption, religious zealotry, and other insanities wash over you like a tsunami. Now you likely find yourself fighting to stay afloat amongst all that information.
While being aware of what is going on in the world at large is important, there is a difference between being aware and being overwhelmed. Well, duh, you might think — yet it takes very little to over-examine world matters and then assimilate them into your psyche.
What does that mean? It means that you absorb the news like a sponge, but rather than process it and release it you hold onto it. Is it any wonder so many people are so very angry, hopeless, self-righteous, and various other emotional extremes? This is a result of letting all those outside influences worm their way into your subconscious.
If you have not been working to be aware of what’s inside your own head, then you have just given your subconscious more fuel to drive the bus.
I have made this mistake more than once. Reading past the headline and getting into the sordid details drove out reason, logic, and hope and replaced it with subconscious fear, worst-case scenarios, and despair.
You need to balance information and inundation
The upside of living in the information age is how readily available news both real and fake, data, and other knowledge can be called-up in an instant. The downside of living in the information age is how readily available news both real and fake, data, and other knowledge can be called-up in an instant. Why? Because as vast and capable as the human mind is, everyone has their own limits for what they can take in before it’s too much.
As a late friend of mine once said, “I had room for an eye-dropper of information and you gave me a bucket-full.” Even if you could handle a bucket of information, the internet tends to provide you with an ocean’s worth of it.
When you are not being mindful of how much is too much, you also may not realize when you have become overwhelmed. If you are not working on being aware of what’s in your own head, likely you don’t realize you’ve been affected by all that inundation of information until you are depressed, anxious, unhappy, and otherwise feeling bad.
This is where being aware of your own mindset can help you to know just how much info you can take in so that you can be cognizant of the world at large. Mindfulness of your own mindset will allow you to be a gatekeeper of information so that your subconscious is not fed too much negativity to chew on.
In other words, it’s good to be aware of the world at large, but awareness of yourself is how you process it.
What’s in your head?
The only person who can know what you are thinking and what and how you are feeling is YOU. There is nobody else inside of your head.
This is mindfulness. Awareness of your thoughts and feelings. But it’s not simply awareness, as in oh, hey that’s what’s on my mind or I am feeling how I am feeling. No, it’s also about your ability to influence, control, alter, and change your thoughts and feelings.
Nobody and nothing can make you feel a certain way unless you allow it. If you are not being mindful, and thus aren’t aware of your thoughts and feelings, your subconscious gets control. If your subconscious mind is not being checked by your conscious mind you can easily slip into feeling negative emotions.
Why? Because you and I live in a fear-based society, and we are constantly bombarded by negativity, bad news, and various other horrors. That is what is being absorbed by your subconscious. If instead, we lived in a reason-based society, and you were bombarded by positivity, good news, and various other wonders, then that is what would be absorbed by your subconscious.
Unfortunately, we don’t. However, by being conscious and aware of your thoughts and feelings here-and-now, you can better control the flow of negativity into your subconscious mind.
Practice makes perfect
I am not going to lie to you. This takes time, effort, and work. Most people are only kind of half-there. Maybe I am generalizing, but I am pretty sure we all know people who clearly appear to be asleep at the switch. You can yell at them, scream at them, show them all the evidence and proof that they are totally unaware…but to no avail.
This is why awareness is an inside job. To change the world you have to start with yourself. To do that, you need to be aware of your own mind, what you are thinking and what and how you are feeling. By being mindful you gain influence and potentially control over your psyche.
With that control, you can choose to direct the flow of information to better suit yourself and keep a clearer and more aware mindset.
How do you be aware? As I said, this takes practice, but in the simplest terms you need to ask these and similar questions of yourself:
· What am I thinking?
· How am I feeling?
· What am I feeling?
· Is that my opinion or someone else’s?
All of these questions, and others like them, bring you into the now. They open you to be aware of what’s inside your head.
The more often you do this, the more regular it becomes. When it is a regular practice it gets easier.
Keep this in mind throughout your day. You are empowered to create some pretty incredible things, both for yourself and others. Awareness of what’s in your head is the key to being the best you that you can be.
Awareness is an inside job, and you have all the tools you need to kick ass and make today and every day that much more awesome.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, and being aware of your mindset can change your life and change the world.