I am a big advocate of meditation as a method of clearing unproductive thoughts. Very rarely do helpful things happen in the mind, but meditation is the best tool for clearing those unhelpful thoughts so that more productive ones can come forth.
“The mind is a terrible master, but a wonderful servant.”
As you watch your thoughts, you’ll notice some patterns. Some thoughts are about the past. Some thoughts are about the future.
Very rarely, you will have a thought that is helpful in the here and now. And those productive thoughts seem to creep in when you’re focusing your mind on something else. Productive, inspired thoughts are often a result of meditation. And honestly, those inspired thoughts often begin as a feeling rather than a thought.
As a mom, I very rarely have an hour to myself to meditate. There are many demands on my time, but I make a conscious attempt to quiet my mind and tap into the wisdom of my body every day. Here are some ways I do it, even though I am busier than the proverbial one-legged man.
1. Use your breath. The breath is powerful. It is the one constant, the one part of your being that you cannot quiet. It also mirrors the flux of the universe… one moment we are here, the next moment we are not. We are creating and re-creating our experience in every instant.
The breath does not occur in the mind; it occurs in our chest, nearest our heart. The breath is the reminder that our heart has its own wisdom, its own power, and it is central to our being. As you breathe in, bring your focus into your body, into your heart, into the space where the magic occurs.
2. Use movement. Movement activates the wisdom in your body. Your mind does not have to calculate or computer what the next step should look like, you just do it. And as your mind is given less to do, the body’s wisdom takes over. A “walking meditation,” especially in nature, can lessen the wandering thoughts and allow the inspiration of the moment to come through your body’s other wisdom centers.
When coupled with awareness of your breath, the increased awareness within your body revitalizes your beingness to tap into the magical space.
3. Spend more time with mindful beings. Be more dog-like. Cat like, if you prefer. Deer like, if you want. Childlike, even. The animals in our world are not plagued with thoughts of the past or the future. They also have memories and patterns, but they are in the here and now more than anyone I have encountered.
Of course, you have been gifted with creative abilities far beyond the animals, but to master your animal nature is not to eschew it. To master your animal nature, you learn to use that nature so that you can hone your creative abilities. Cultivating mindfulness so that it is useful to you is mastering your nature.
4. Get out into nature. The natural world is full of peaceful, heart-centered reminders of your physical body, quieting the mind. A walk in nature with a couple of canine friends is the perfect antidote to an overactive mind. Running water, rustling leaves, warm sunshine, and green plants everywhere remind us of the physical world, grounding us in our bodies. Green is the color of the heart chakra, the center of your being where your deeper connection to the wider consciousness of All That Is becomes much more apparent.
Bring your children with you. There is a creek running through our neighborhood. I grab the children, the dog, a neighbor’s dog, and head to the creek. The dogs and kids splash in the water. And I contemplate. I breathe. I stretch, and sometimes I play in the water, too. Time seems to fly as we’re there. It becomes very easy for me to let go of all of the things I need to do and just be.
5. Do chores. I’ve got plenty of those. I use the mindless activities of washing dishes, cleaning the house, and gardening as meditation time as well. Repetitive activities are a good time to clear your mind of all thoughts while going through the motions of “chopping wood and carrying water.”
Why Cultivate Mindfulness?
Mindfulness has enormous benefit. It reduces stress, which creates greater harmony in all areas of your life including your physical and mental health. It also opens you to the deeper part of yourself where inspiration resides.
It allows your spiritual energy to flow. It brings ideas, peace, wisdom, greater patience, and a higher propensity to see your world and your self much more clearly.
Scientists beginning to explore the benefits of meditation and mindfulness are showing that it even rewires your brain to make the benefits of a five minute meditation session last much longer.
Meditation and Mindfulness are Important to Conscious Creation
You cannot create what you want until you are clear. If you are thinking about the past, you are trapped in old patterns. If you are worrying about the future, you creating a probable future that is shaped by your worries.
Getting clear means clearing the data in your mind. It means tapping into something that is much larger than who you are. It means being open to change, to flowing energy, and to exploring who you are, what you really want, and your inspiration.
Meditation is the clearest, cleanest, and most proven method of getting there.
There is No Perfect Meditation
The goal of mindfulness and meditation is to be able to discern who you really are. It is to learn that you are not your thoughts, you are not your emotions, and you are not the sum of your past. You are here now. You are not your future, either. You are nothing more than who you are as the observer here now.
There are plenty of times to allow that mindfulness in. Supporting the intent to increase mindfulness in your experience with small breaks of meditation when you can. Just like a muscle, your ability to be mindful will grow the more it is used.