Mindfulness: a state of active, open attention on the present. A way of observing thoughts from a distance without judgment, while being completely open to the now.
Throughout the past year, I've taken and been subject to a lot of 'shifts.' I've moved within the city, transitioned out of a full time job (scary!), started two new career paths, surrounded myself with a new tribe of friends, all while having been forced to deal with an immense family loss. Though there were plenty times of chaos, feelings of sadness and insecurity, there have also been times of great excitement and achievement. I think the key to having survived this roller coaster of emotions was that I was clear on my intentions. I focused my attention on the present, and let go of any feelings of uncertainty and doubt. And trust me, there were a lot of em.
I stayed mindful with where I wanted to be, who I wanted to surround myself with, and what type of vibe I wished to send out into the world. And though I have many aspirations and visions for my future to still get to, I know that being right where I am is okay. My type-A personality surely gets the best of me at times, but I'm continuing to work towards being mindful and true to myself (life's always a work in progress), which I know will only help me get to where I eventually want to be.
One of these new 'shifts' throughout the past year was me acquiring my certification to teach yoga. I've been very grateful to have been offered a position at the studio I trained at shortly after, and now teach regularly on the schedule. It still seems surreal to me. Along with facing my fears of speaking in front of an audience (yikes), I've also recently pushed myself out of my comfort zone and held my first nutrition/yoga workshop at the studio. A whole line of faces coming to my event? Nerve-wracking? You bet. To be quite frank, I was scared shitless. As I was fumbling to get my outline together on those last few days leading up to the event, someone in passing said this quote to me.
“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.”
It couldn't be closer from the truth. After blinking my eyes open after sounding the last OM of the workshop, an ineffable feeling of contentment and accomplishment swept over me. It was that same feeling you get after running a race you didn't think your body was capable of; after successfully giving a speech you were sweating bullets over the night before; or a time where you believe its physically impossible to accomplish a task or pass a test and instead you nail it.
It's these times of ambiguity that we need to stay true to ourselves in order to get where we need to be. To be mindful is to accept and fully take on the present, which is usually when we portray our best and most influential selves. We allow our protective walls to dissolve, and therefore create more space. Yes, we become vulnerable, but we also allow room for love and compassion to come forth.
With all being said, I encourage you to put yourselves to the test. Do something you don't think you're capable of. Stay focused on the now, and refrain from looking back or jumping to the future 'potentials.' Things will be difficult at times, but I promise you'll shock yourself at what you're capable of. It's an incredible feeling.
In Part two, I plan on sharing snippets of the actual workshop I held a few weeks ago and discuss how to cultivate mindfulness through eating/developing a more positive relationship with food and your body. Stay tuned!