Today’s guest post is from Elva of Pursuing Delights. Elva’s honest account about her journey towards finding mindfulness, what it means to her, and incorporating it into her life was so refreshing and relatable. Read on to find out what she has learned and how you can incorporate mindfulness as well.
What started out as just “one of those days” has dragged out into “one of those months”. I have had zero motivation to do anything, so my to-do list is more than a mile long. It feels like at this point I will never be able to catch up, so what’s the point in even starting?
I have yet to confess about my mothering skills, which have been at what feels like an all-time low. My kids and I have been watching way too many movies; well, okay, it really is the 3 same movies over and over and over again. Frankly, I’m surprised I’m not just quoting you lines from Moana, Tangled or Frozen.
To put it simply I have been down in the dumps, and I’m struggling to pull myself out.
So where does mindfulness come in to play?
To be perfectly honest, I’m asking myself the same question.
Isn’t mindfulness supposed to help me out of these slumps or keep me from falling into one?
I’m somewhat new to the practice of mindfulness; I still don’t fully understand it or how to fully apply it to my day to day life.
So what should I do?
What should you do if you find yourself in a similar situation?
In order to learn more for myself and to pass that knowledge along to you, I have been reading, learning about, and trying to apply the practice of mindfulness.
So let’s go down this road together, find our focus, and pull ourselves out of this hole that we have dug.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and in between the exhales and inhales recognize that when one practices mindfulness it is a journey, not a destination. Take a few more breaths and let that sink in.
Every moment is a new beginning in which we can learn from the lessons of the past, but we don’t have to take the guilt, stress, negative feelings, or thoughts we have with us to the next moment of our lives.
I guess what I’m trying to say (and maybe it is just me), but the part of practicing mindfulness that can be easily overlooked (as we focus on meditation and just being in the present), is going forth without judgment.
I’m going to say it again because I feel it is a huge part of applying mindfulness to our lives and yet it often seems (or at least to me) only touched upon lightly.
There are multiple pieces to living a more mindful life, and one big piece of that puzzle is going forth without judgment.
Is it just me or are you not your harshest critic? I feel the first step is being able to forgive ourselves. I know that it is easier said than done, but let’s stop and take a look at that. We cannot move forward without judgment if we do not forgive ourselves for past mistakes or shortcomings.
I know that there is so much that can be said and discussed on forgiving ourselves but I’m going to keep it short and straight to the point.
Find the silver lining.
It’s there! Trust me! I know it sometimes can be very difficult to see but when we do find it, we can start to let go of those negative feelings that are holding us down.
A great way to let go of negative thoughts/feelings is by practicing gratitude.
Remember the past is in the past
I know that sounds a little cliché but when we really wrap our minds around the fact that what happened in the past is done and cannot be undone, we bring acceptance into our hearts. It is that acceptance that will help us remember that we are only human, and we can start to give ourselves what we freely give to others, which is the benefit of the doubt. Meaning more often than not we are willing to overlook and/or be more understanding when those around us make mistakes but when we ourselves do the same, often we will continue to feel guilt and shame long after the event has passed. We need to let that go.
Create a “re-do”
In order to create a re-do’, write out what you would have done differently in a particular situation you are stuck on/is preventing you from moving forward. If writing isn’t your thing, maybe talk it out with a person you trust. By thinking it over and deciding what you would do differently, you will be able to fully embrace the lessons you needed to learn from that situation. By embracing the lessons, you can move forward feeling more confident that next time you would do things in line with your true values and morals. The key to creating a re-do is learning from your misstep.
Start loving yourself
How do you talk to your best friend, your partner, your child or anyone you truly love and care about? Think about the words you use when they come and say sorry to you for something they said or did. I feel it safe to say that you accept their apology and show them love and compassion. I would bet that although you may have been upset, you know they are good people and you recognize everyone makes mistakes and then you let it go! But if you are like me, you don’t show yourself that same love and understanding. When that negative self-talk starts to begin, we need to stop and change it! It is our inner voice so we can dictate the narrative and turn it into one that is more loving and kind to ourselves. It will be a new habit and may take some time to put into practice but the more we do it the easier it will become.
If you need some help showing yourself compassion and love, read how here.
As we learn to forgive and show ourselves more compassion and love, we will let go of all those negative feelings from the past. From there, the only thing we need to take with us as we move forward (without judging ourselves) is the lessons we have learned.
I may have dug myself a hole of guilt, shame, stress, self-hate, and self-doubt, but I know by practicing mindfulness and not judging, I can forgive myself, slowly climb out step by step, and go forward being more kind and forgiving of myself.
I hope that you have realized this for yourself, that by going forward without judging you can put in place that missing piece of mindfulness and more effectively apply it to your life.
You can find Elva at Pursuing Delights.
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