VIDEO: THIS IS WATER

Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.” –  Jon Kabat-Zinn

This commencement speech from author David Foster-Wallace is a wonderful reminder to stop, breathe and get perspective. It is so important to practice stepping outside of your own stories, your own self-centred world and to be aware of the bigger picture – to notice the people around you, to act with compassion and without judgement and to realise we are all in this together.

I had a personal reminder of this recently when I was out at a show. I had been looking forward to it for weeks, but I became particularly annoyed when a woman sitting in front of me kept wriggling around in her seat all throughout the first half. Thankfully, through my work with a variety of clients and from my mindfulness practise I was able to watch myself getting irritated and reframe my thoughts and experience.

As difficult as it was I chose not to get wrapped up in my own petty and selfish thoughts, I instead focused on how grateful I was to be there, and how nice it was to be around so many people having a good time. Perhaps, I thought, this woman is moving around for a good reason. As it turned out, when the lights came up for the intermission the woman turned around and said “I really hope I’m not annoying you, I have a muscular disease where I can’t sit still and have to constantly move. I can swap places with my friend if it’s upsetting you, I’m so, so sorry”. In that moment I thanked my practise, and did my best to help reassure the woman that everything was fine and I hoped she continued to enjoy the show.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Victor Frankl

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GET CLEAR: GOAL SETTING

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Life can, at times, become quite overwhelming. It’s easy to lose sight of ourselves  amongst the stresses of day-to-day life and the amount of information and opinions we encounter. We can also feel pressure on a larger scale from social/cultural beliefs and expectations telling us how to feel, what we should value or where we should be heading. In such times I call upon that classic mantra; get clear, and K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple – try to get clear about what you are truly wanting, what you are trying to achieve, and what simple action will settle your nerves and get you back on track. You are not so useful or fun to be around if you’re pretending to be happy and cool when in fact you’re feeling sad, angry or frustrated and acting out of fear, guilt or anxiety.

You are the most important person whose needs must always be met first, and the sooner you start acting upon this the happier you will be and the more help you can be to others. One of the key methods to help ingrain this self-loving practise (and to avoid reaching that overwhelming meltdown point) is setting goals.

HOW TO SET GOALS

Grab a pad of paper and a pen, find a quiet place to sit where you won’t be interrupted and address the following…

Get clear about your intentions: 

What are your aspirations and desires for this life? Not what you think you should be desiring or what others find appealing or of value. You may wish to be healthy, peaceful, quietly successful; or to be bold, energised, wealthy… What states of being get you smiling and feeling deeply inspired?

Set your goals:

What three specific things would you like to achieve each day which help support your intentions? What three things will keep you on track with your true desires, and have you settling down to bed each night feeling satisfied? These goals are specific and quantifiable, but absolutely hold zero pressure, shame, guilt or stress.

Action:

How do you bring these goals to life? How will you make space in your day for your goals? Will you sit quietly each morning and remind yourself of your intentions and goals? Perhaps you could input an hourly reminder into your phone or computer, or share your intentions and goals with the people around you so they help keep you on track. Come up with an action plan that inspires and empowers you. Feel excited to commit to these actions.

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My intentions are to live as authentic to me as I can get. I’m on a mission which admittedly takes a lot of courage and heart but I love it and it’s what drives me forward. I want to live a full, bountiful and balanced life. I want to meet, befriend and work with many people and push myself to learn as much as possible. My daily goals are to 1) meditate 2) move my body 3) eat well. Achieving my goals allows me to best direct my intentions and keeps me grounded – even if I don’t get through every email I know I have my main things ticked off. I action these goals by taking time to schedule them in. If I have an early start I either wake up earlier to meditate, or meditate on the train. I book in training sessions and classes with other instructors a week in advance and on the days I have no classes I make time to stretch or move once I’m home in the evening (even if it’s just 5 minutes). To eat well takes a lot of organisation. I shop at the local market every weekend and supplement that with grocery deliveries. On a Sunday I prepare what meals I am going to have for the week. This all takes time but to me it’s absolutely worth it.

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“When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing, when your activities and actions become gratifying and purposeful, when what you do serves both yourself and others, when you do not tire within but seek the sweet satisfaction of your life and your work, you are doing what you were meant to be doing.” – Gary Zukav

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SET GOALS AND REAP THE BENEFITS: 

Setting goals helps strengthen your awareness –  you are forced to get clear about what you want and what you don’t want in your life. The more clear you are the more likely you are to attract what you want. 

Setting goals ensures you honour and respect yourself –  you are forced to commit daily to what you know will serve you greatly. The more you cultivate self-love the more connected you become to your true self.

Setting goals rewires your thought patterns and rewards systems –  you create new nourishing brain patterns that realign with healthy thoughts and actions. The more productive your thoughts and actions the happier, healthier and more at peace you will feel. 

Remind yourself of your intentions – these are the feelings and beliefs you most desire. Let your intentions be your main support system. Your goals are honest and encouraging, they are things you are proud of and feel excited to action. Your intentions, goals and actions are there to set you on an authentic path where you let go of self judgement. Here, failing, competition and pressure do not exist. Staying faithful to what feels good and right for you means your experience and not your outcome is what is most important.