Making Mindfulness Your Lifestyle: Pay Attention!
I understand mindfulness to mean: the act of paying attention. Notice it does not include what to pay attention to. Making mindfulness your lifestyle, building mindfulness into your lifestyle [the style/way you live; that is, aspiring to paying attention always (and in all ways)].
This builds in (think “lifestyle”) a limitless number of opportunities to practice paying attention. All skills (and skillsets) improve with right practice. All skills improve with repetition. Paying attention (aka mindfulness) is simply a skillset. A very demanding skillset (it’s no accident it’s called “paying attention”). A very, very rewarding skillset.
Making Mindfulness Your Lifestyle
- Identify it as a goal. Identifying a goal (or goals) allows us to measure our efforts towards achieving/working towards our goal(s). Goal achievement is not on/off. It’s a process.
- Construct some agreements with yourself that reflect the exercises, actions, feelings you believe will enhance the quality of mindfulness in your personal experience.
- When you keep those agreements, notice and praise yourself [Principle involved- praising self for all good work (stuff you’re supposed to do and having a good time count as good work) feels good, so you’ve just generated a pay-off (and everything we do, we do for the pay-offs), and praising yourself will help you notice and remember your good work. What notice you can remember. And what you remember you can repeat. [See 1-2-32]
- When you don’t keep one (or more) of these agreements, you are not being bad! You simply have not kept an agreement with yourself. We all have a “you can’t tell me what to do reflex.” When we feel like someone is “wagging their finger at us” (regardless of whether or not they are, in fact, “wagging their finger at us”), that stimulates our “you can’t tell me what to do reflex.” We can stimulate that in ourselves. Being mean to ourselves (i.e., strong negative self-judgments and the associated self-talk and horrible feelings evoked by these negative self-judgments) stimulates it.
- And most importantly of all:THE PLATINUM RULE, [See 1-2-32] which states: Treat yourself the way you wish others to treat you. Be an example/model for us as to how you wish others to treat you. You wish others to treat you with kindness? Be kind to yourself. You wish others to treat you with respect? Respect yourself. Or more directly: You deserve to be treated well. That includes how you treat yourself!!!
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