The Art of Becoming Self-Aware

It would seem that very few things in life come from our accepting the present moment as it is.  To become educated, we have to become motivated to learn.  To master a sport requires that we continually improve our resistance to physical exertion.  To be a better parent / mentor, we often must make a deliberate effort to change ourselves.  Merely accepting that we are distracted, lazy or easily provoked to anger, is not enough and we’ll regret it down the line unless we work at finding alternatives.

Mindfulness Meditation has taken off in recent years as an effective re-framing and stress reduction solution as well as a performance enhancement method. It is the art of becoming self-aware – of being aware of what’s happening in the moment, and accepting whatever arises in the mind and body with more equanimity.  Yes, our buttons get pushed pretty regularly, particularly when it comes to our kids, so I’m suggesting doing some mindfulness meditation as a kind of life preserver.

Expert in the field of brain plasticity, Dr. Ron Siegel, suggests sitting quietly even if it’s for five minutes, and bringing our attention to the breath where you are to notice sensations in your body.  You’ll notice that you lose thoughts about the past and future when you are concentrating on your breathing and the feelings in the body.  Over time, he says, your thoughts become like clouds passing through the skies and your mind desists in doing its usual antics.  You become more perceptive and more skillful in problem solving without engendering the negative emotional charge.

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