The term mindfulness refers to a way of being conscious in the present moment, not allowing your mind to wander into the past or into the future. This is not such an easy thing to do when you first incorporate mindfulness into your life because we are conditioned in this society to always be on the go, rushing here and rushing there, trying to get as many things accomplished in one day as possible. This way of being can become such a part of our lives that we stop living in the present and miss what is happening in our lives today, only to wake up one morning wandering where the time went or how we arrived at where we currently are in our lives.
Being conscious in the present moment is so imperative because all we really have in life is this moment, this exact moment, and is really where our lives take place and where our life experiences are experienced. There is no guarantee on the next moment and the past is well, in the past, and no amount of regret or guilt can change what has already taken place, but you can be empowered to make each moment in your life count by following the Seven Pillars of Mindfulness in your everyday life.
Non-judging– This is about paying attention on purpose to our thoughts and noticing them without judging; this can be greatly facilitated by the act of prayer/meditation. If we begin to cultivate this way of thinking we will notice how much we judge ourselves and others and see how destructive this way of thinking can be.
Patience– Patience is a form of wisdom and shows our understanding that life has a tendency to enfold on its own the way it was meant to.
A Beginner’s Mind- This is a mind set that is open to possibilities and is humble enough to say, “I don’t know everything and I am open to what life has to teach me.”
Trust- Trust is about having faith in yourself and trusting your intuition, that inner voice which guides you in making the right decisions through out your life.
Non-striving- When we strive we are in a future-oriented mind frame and have a tendency to focus on getting somewhere or obtaining something instead of accepting who I am and where I am now.
Acceptance- Acceptance is about being okay now, in this moment, no matter what is going on in your life because it is just another moment. This gives you the freedom to focus your energy on healing and change instead of clouding the mind with judgment and fear.
Letting go- Being able to let go of the past and/or worries of the future can be extremely liberating and can free us from the chains that bind us to our human suffering and unleash us into the beauty and peacefulness of each life-giving moment.