Mindful of Body
Mindful of Feelings
Mindful of Mind
Mindful of objects
Mindful of Body.
Begin to live as nature wants you to live. Demand of yourself a higher standard of health and happiness. Put yourself in Nature’s hands and let her run your machine and heal your ailments. Your rewards will be many in renewed health, a calmness of spirit and a new awareness.
Eat for next year. Exercise for next year. Drink for next year. Think for yourself. This is real health management. If you do what others do, and eat for today or drink for today you’ll never be one step ahead, nothing in the health bank, you’ll be spending everything, and living on the edge.
You can predict what you’ll need next year. You’ll be older, you need less cholesterol, you’ll need more stamina. If you are going to have a family you’ll need more fitness. If you plan to travel more, you’ll need more flexibility so that sitting on those terrible small aeroplane seats for hours wont wreck your posture. You know it. You can start being who you plan to be. Don’t leave it until it’s knocking on your door.
Of the company executives I meet, most have grown old in their body but not recognised it. They’ve let things slip. And maybe that’s ok when people are younger. But, as time goes on, slippage can really be hard to deal with. WE need a greater, not a lesser emphasis on health and fitness as we get past 45 years of age.
Body mindfulness needs to be fun. So often people get serious about body health and spoil the enjoyment. You need to stay healthy by being outdoors more, playing games as well as running up a hill.
Ambition in body awareness can suck the joy out of exercise. It can make everything turn dry and dusty. People so easily forget to laugh and are just too busy to stop and enjoy themselves but it’s rarely their work that is to blame. Usually, they lack the joy in playing healthy games and doing things outdoor that are fun. 50% of the benefit of exercise is the mental enjoyment from doing it, being in nature and experiencing good things.
This is a really important awareness for those who are involved in corporate training and self help because corporate training rarely addresses the importance of being outdoors. In my experience work gets blamed for so much of a persons life quality, when really, lack of body awareness is the real trigger.
Preparation for a great day must include some form of body awareness, exercise.
Nature gives you one of the most powerful answers to this question. Energy is to your life, like money is to your business. A business can’t function without money. You can’t function in life without energy. That’s how you know if you’ve been mindful about your body, you’ll have lots of energy. Physical energy is the fuel that underpins happiness. A person may not have the best of circumstances, but if they have energy, they feel happy, enthusiastic, regardless.
Energy is nature’s barometer of the quality of your choices in life.
A life that is thriving, builds energy. A life that is finished, looses energy. A job you love builds energy, one you hate drains energy. If you are healthy you don’t get tired. If your diet and health program are in balance, you are energised. Being around certain people exhausts us, being around others energises us. There is no escaping nature’s barometer of your body awareness. The quality of your choices is reflected in your energy levels.
Leadership, happiness, love, wealth creation, parenting, quality of life and success are energy dependent qualities. If you become mindful of your body there is no need to age prematurely, get exhausted and start wanting to sleep life away. Life can become the best drug you can take.
Body mindfulness is about managing energy. If you come home from work not turning up it means you are sucking energy from your family and partner. That’s not what families and relationships are all about. Not sustainably anyway. To arrive home with good energy you need to leave home with good energy and do things that are health giving during the day. I’ll list a few:
Stand up more than 50% of your working day.
Eat protein in the morning
Avoid fruit and other fructose
Avoid fast carbs
Eat 3-5 meals a day
Exercise after work
Exercise before work
Be alcohol free
Get outdoors more than 2 hours a day.
Touch nature and let it touch you
Drink 2 cups of coffee maximum each day
So, your daily body awareness routine is basically about four topics: building, storing, stopping the waste, and directing energy.
If yo do it right, what you put out comes back ten fold. You set yourself the task of ending the day with far more energy than you started with. That’s good body awareness.
Mindful of Feelings
It’s hard to do good if you don’t feel good. There’s no doubt about that.
Feeling good is never automatic. 50% of the energy that comes to or from you is going to feel bad. You can change that ratio by becoming mindful of feelings
The four feelings that I recommend you aim for are:
Grateful … feel thankful for everything that comes your way. This takes some gentle manipulations and mental gymnastics. Reframing…
Inspired … feel love for what you are doing right now. It doesn’t have to be a great thing. You get a choice about how you feel about doing something but you most often don’t get a choice about doing it. So, shift what you have control over and that’s how you feel. Shift from GOT TO to LOVE TO.
Visionary … The person with the best plan B wins. That’s a visionary individual, they have lots of plans, ideas, options and they are all fully implementable. Vision is dynamic, it’s not static.It’s always changing.
Enthusiasm … It means the divine spirit within… I love this filter for life. Do it, do it enthusiastically, or don’t do it. I haven’t found a single thing, even going to a funeral, that I couldn’t find a way to be enthusiastic about. (not enthusiastic about getting it over with)
When you are not feeling good – like in G.I.V.E. above then there are four addictive substitutes that come to make you feel good. They are: Food and substance, Greed, Sex and Spirituality. Those things in moderation are healthy, but when they become a way to overcome feeling bad, then they become toxic.
Nature provides these substitutes just like a yacht has an engine. The idea is to sail with the wind, but occasionally use the engine. If the Yacht used the engine all day everyday, well that’s the same as a person using substitutes all day everyday. Eventually, there’s going to be burn out.
And this is what we’re dealing with when our life gets into difficulty. We’ve been using addictive substitutes too long and it’s become toxic. It’s more like no sail and a broken engine.
A person who has been working in a job they hate, not feeling great about it, trying to suck energy from their partner at home to compensated for it (or go to Yoga) putting excess demands on their relationship, foods, drugs, alcohol, attachments and spirituality. It can end up in a life crisis.
For many years I lived right on the edge of my energy levels. I’d burn as much as I could. Life was simple, eat, sleep, do, sleep. When my energy levels dropped too low I’d grab substitutes to push me through. But as time went on, and I needed to lead others, living on the edge like that gave no confidence to others. If my business was run on such an edge we’d be struggling.
Anyone operating at 100% is going to burn out and start to feel bad, tired and stressed. They go home at night wounded. Life doesn’t have to be a burn, recover, burn, recover process.
I learnt how to feel good regardless of what’s going on around me. I think that’s a big gift and brings a certain presence to life.
The greatest drain on feeling good is not physical. Emotion can weaken, and make a person feel bad far faster than any other single cause. You may run a marathon and be exhausted, you’ve spent so many kilo-joules to move from one place in the world to another but you might still feel good. Emotions on the other hand, get you no where, yet, the emotional person is always exhausted. One minute they feel great, next minute they feel really bad. That swing, the instability of emotion is inherent in emotion but people don’t know it.
Simply if you have one upper then you must have one downer. Emotions that take you up have their counterbalance. It’s such a drain, these emotional swings.
To plug this leakage does not require that we become unemotional, unfeeling human beings, addicted to uninspired morbid dullness. No, the key to plugging this leakage is to feel G.I.V.E – to turn every emotional feeling into one or all of those. Then, you feel emotion without acting and give yourself time to Reframe the situation. This is referred to as resilience, the ability to experience the full humanity of life, without distraction or reaction.
Mindful of Mind
Your head can really mess you up. It can imagine things that aren’t real, it can become paranoid. Your head can think thoughts that are healthy and unhealthy and it can create habits. This is further complicated by the fact that you have a front brain and a back brain. Your front brain talks and your back brain listens.
The more stillness you have the more the front and back, talking and listening aspects of yourself will harmonise. If your talking brain and your listening brain get disconnected you’re in trouble. When what you are doing is in conflict with what you want to be doing or creating then you start to sabotage. You either sabotage yourself or sabotage what you’re doing, you start functioning only from rational logic. It’s awful.
Let’s have a quick look at how you can be mindful of mind.
There are three things that will help; something to do, something to look forward to, and someone to love.
Keeping the mind busy with something to do that feels valuable is really important. You lower your self-worth working on low priority tasks.
Always have something to look forward to. Simply that means to maintain hope of a bigger and better future. When our vision dies, we do too.
Finally someone to love. It doesn’t matter whether this is a cat, a home, yourself, your family your job, your partner or whatever. As long as you have someone or something to love your mind will remain relatively healthy. It is astonishing to find out that you can’t love one thing and hate another. Like it’s impossible to be happy and unthankful at the same time.
Whereas the talking brain will become depressed or traumatised through confrontation and circumstances that are not to its expectation, the listening brain never stops smiling. The listening brain is often referred to as the human heart.
To tap into the listening brain we need stillness. That stillness is not the lack of noise but more the ability to let the talking brain, the thinking mind, take a break. Now giving the talking mind, the mouth and thinking brain a break doesn’t mean going somewhere peaceful because we can still think turbulent thoughts in a peaceful place. To create stillness we need the talking brain to go on holiday. To put the talking brain on holiday we simply try to find balance in anything we look at.
The talking brain is most turbulent when it has emotions winding it up. For example it might see something that is extremely good or extremely bad. That’s called lopsided experience.
I’ve tried many techniques such as Zen, yoga, tai chi and Qigong in order to quieten down the talking brain but they failed me. My talking brain is super active. It loves looking at attractive people, it loves adventures into fantasyland, it reacts to things it doesn’t like and it sort of has a way of its own. The only thing that really works for me is to seek balance. That’s kind of like nature’s teaching. Nature seeks balance in all things.
There’s a big difference between finding a quite place to quieten the mind, which really means to isolate the mind versus stilling the mind which means to find a place deep within, irrespective of the circumstances.
In a quiet place, without disturbance, the talking mind is vulnerable to any noise or anything that comes to rattle it. This quiet idea is like the surface of the lake always vulnerable to something dropping in to disturb it’s surface. In contrast, to still the mind means to dive beneath the surface of the lake. Where surface ripples do not disturb the stillness. That’s achieved by finding balance in thoughts.
From this you can see that it is balanced thinking that builds our energy.
Mindful of Objects
your environment plays a major role in your mental state. The same old environment creates the same old mental state.
If nothing changes nothing changes. So changing your environment, all the objects in it, is an incredibly fast and accurate way of making changes in your life.
Your outer environment includes the clothing you wear, the jewellery you have, the tools you use, the furniture, your underwear, your office desk, gifts that have been given to you and pictures that hang on the wall. Every single thing has energy.
When I speak to my clients about creating new vision the first step is to get rid of materials and objects that reflect their past life. Some may say that these things carry good memories and I’d agree but they are memories. It is far better to have objects in a home that reflect the future not the past.
Gifts given, things accumulating, dust building, clutter surrounding, old things that have worn well past the usage date, all need to be released. They are of value to somebody else.
Objects carry energy. Even food can be considered an object the energy of food has amazing impact on our quality of life. But so too does the energy of a lounge suite that is a remnant of our past relationship. When it’s time to move on you will release objects of the past.