Attitudes of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is often misunderstood as just sitting meditation. Meditation is only one of the many ways that one can practice mindfulness. You can practice mindfulness informally by doing things like washing the dishes, walking the dog, taking out the garbage or you can do mindful practices formally with such things like Meditation, Yoga, Qi Gong or Tai Chi. All of these things are considered to be mindful when we embody a certain attitude toward how we live our life.
Adopting an attitude of mindfulness may seem rather simple and in essence it truly is simple. However, as human beings we often get caught up in trying to control things in hopes they will turn out a certain way, or we are uncomfortable in our present moment experience because we would prefer to have a different experience other than the experience we are already having. Taking on an attitude of mindfulness only asks that we pay attention to how things are in this moment. It does not demand that we make anything different but rather invites us to a level of acceptance that connects us to the entirety of the present moment.
This is something that cannot be forced.
Living a life that is informed by mindfulness is not to be entered into with any expectations in the way we often embark on the many different self-improvement projects we have attempted to employ. It is also not something that will work just because we believe it will work. It is also not a magic bullet that will solve all difficulties and challenges in life. All of these kinds of approaches can often lead to a sense of disappointment primarily because we feel that it has not met our expectations. Mindfulness goes beyond expectations primarily because it is based on a kind of radical acceptance of this very moment. This means accepting who you are now even if there are things about you, you would like to change or things you would like to strive to achieve in this life. Taking on an attitude of mindfulness does not mean being passive and abandoning things that are important to you. Rather, it brings you closer in alignment to those things because you begin to see things more clearly in the fullness of their present moment manifestation.
Therefore, the attitude that we have in our practice of mindfulness is important and will ultimately determine the enduring value that living a valued and purposeful life will have for us…that is if we can show up for it.
The intention to live a life of value and purpose is possible when we live life in the present moment in its fullness. Having an intention to live mindfully can be supported by taking on the Attitudinal Foundations of Mindfulness Practice. These are as follows:
- Beginners Mind
- Letting Go
- Gratitude and Generosity
- Humor and Playfulness
In the following posts, we will discuss each of the Attitudinal Foundations of Mindfulness.