I always come back to the saying, “It’s not difficult to be mindful. Difficult is to remember to be mindful.” To live mindfully is to live a life with plenty of mindful moments, moments when I remember to purposely pay attention and observe whatever may be happening in the present moment with calm, interest, openness, and curiosity.
I know that although observing the here-now is fundamental for mindful living, it is not enough. Living mindfully invites investigation and reflection on what is being observed. It is an engagement with the present moment through the philosophical method of questioning, learning, and knowing. It is a vibrant and exciting way of living that fulfills my aspiration to explore and inspire, and rewards me with greater wisdom.
I know from experience that in order to live more mindfully, I have to deliberately increase the amount of mindful moments in my days. I know it is difficult to be mindful all the time, but I also know that it is possible, through training and practice, to increase the number of times I remember to be mindful.
Mindful moments are those when I remember to embody the qualities of six words that begin with the letter A: awake, alert, attentive, aware, appreciative, and alive.
It all begins with being awake, meaning that I am not sleepwalking through life. I am not in automatic pilot mode. Things are not happening totally on their own without my conscious participation. I am not going through life mindlessly repeating patterns of behavior, including those negative behaviors that may be degrading the quality of my life. I am engaged with the present moment. I am slowing down and purposely focusing my attention on the here-now, observing what is going on in this present moment, without rushing to add a commentary, an opinion, or a judgment, but just observing with openness and curiosity.
I am present. I am here, now. I am alert and attentive. I am noticing what is going on. I am aware of what is happening. I process events, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations in my body with clarity. I am able to see and perceive things clearly. I reflect. I ponder. I understand. I have insights. I see all the beauty of this world. I appreciate and am astounded by the magic, mystery and miracles that surround me. I experience energy, vigor, and vitality. I am able to pay attention, observe, notice, and discern with a clear and sharp mind. I am in command. I am making wise decisions that improve the quality of my life. I am awake, alert, attentive, aware, and appreciative of life. I am fully alive. I am living mindfully, and this is such an empowering feeling.
It is clear to me how our choices affect our lives. Living mindfully involves being a good observer, seeing clearly, making wise assessments, using wise discernment, and making wise decisions. That’s why focusing on the present moment is so important. Because it is in this moment that I choose, and these choices, decisions, and responses are the ones that ultimately affect the quality of my life.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our responses. In our responses lie our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor Frankl, (attribution)
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl
“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” ~ Viktor Frankl
Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect and write, and who not only aspires to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches Mindfulness Meditation and Mindful Living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He leads mindfulness silent retreats and organizes Silent Peace Walks. He lives in Florida, USA. Join his Mindfulness Meditation and Mindfulness Living sessions at Yoga Source in Coral Springs (Sundays at 9:00 AM) and at Shiwa Yoga in Deerfield Beach (Thursdays at 6:30 AM and 12:30 PM)
Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”