When life starts to feel like a marathon there is almost always a looming sense that something will give; maybe it's ourself, our culture, our environment. When things get too much we become not only distracted from living a balanced life in touch with values it can lead to increased stress and ill health and a sense of needing more control or not having it. Mindfulness meditation is an ancient practice that can slow down the biological system and help increase awareness of the thinking mind, the emotions, the body and the environment we live. The practice offers an opportunity to step off the treadmill and create an intentional process for approaching life with care and discernment. Mindfulness has boomed in popularity as a therapeutic practice to reduce personal anxieties and depression. But rather than coming from a self-improvement angle like there is something wrong with you that needs fixing, mindfulness can offer us a pathway to understanding, acceptance, greater freedom and purpose.
Modern life is fast paced, superficial at times, an attempt to gratify the individual by trying to fill the emptiness inside. Many people are living on autopilot, reactive to a system that see's human life as a productivity commodity or a capitalist consumer robot at best. We just have to look at the sale of your data to realise this truth. The rise in mental health conditions are often a condition caused by the system we live within. Western culture strives for progress with little reflection on where we are collectively heading. One of humanities deepest flaws is shortsightedness, yet despite this there is some incredible efforts being made by some to step back from what many would consider social norms and begin to call for and affect change for the better.
One of the insights from my own mindfulness practice is becoming aware of my flow of energy and when it's influenced by forces outside myself. There are subtle fluctuations going on the whole time to feel into and guide me. During interactions with others I'm curious to notice how my body responds and the chemical transformations that take place in relationship. The mind usually has an interpretation of all of this too, and at times it can be totally distracting when it leaps to stories or concepts that are generated from being raised in a capitalist society. I find it worrying to think that many people don't even take the time to get curious about this disconnect between how we live our lives and the impact it has on the future of our humanity. But being aware is only part of the mindfulness practice. Through this practice of mindfulness we can develop the ability to discern when we are moving away from values and gain a deep trust in our own goodness; not something you're taught at school as a child. It's true my parents loved me but it was life experience that really taught me who I am in my essential nature. In mindfulness coaching clients go on a journey learning practices and teaching that can set them up on the pathway of liberation from patterns of behaviour that limit our collective potential for sustainable growth. Everyone's journey with it is different and everyone's intention for learning mindfulness is different too but living a balanced life means finding the common ground. In mindfulness coaching I refer to the common ground as an altruistic intention for all of life. It's a lofty goal but one that can guarantee you purpose and meaning because of the reciprocal nature of it. This is where I believe true balance exists; not in the focus on the individual self but seeing ourselves as a collective human body existing in an ecosystem. When we aim to orient our life with the intention of sustaining even in the face of own death we can stay close to the preciousness of the human experience we are gifted.