‘Tis the season!
Uh, no, not that season again! It's the time of the year when most of us gear up for the New Year with a renewed spirit. It's the time when we determine what changes we are going to make in our lives by creating New Year’s resolutions.
Over the years, I have come to realize that when I focus on making changes and create resolutions like, “I will eat more healthy to become active and fit” OR “I will have a better relationship with a certain family member”, I tend to put a lot of energy into focusing on something that is set in the future and it takes me away from the present moment. I get consumed in the change that I want to see in my life and before I know it, this idealized change starts defining my happiness.
Can you relate?
It usually looks something like this - you follow a strict diet and exercise regimen for a week or so of your newly formed resolution and get promising results. However, if the plan doesn’t bring about the changes you anticipated in your mind and you aren’t meeting your goals then sadness creeps in. There is a loss of hope and a sense of powerlessness.
I am personally not a fan of this feeling! So, how do we renew our spirit, power, and motivation yet again?
There is a quality in the Mindfulness framework known as the Beginner’s Mind. Just like the name suggests, it’s the mindset of a true beginner. A state that is free of preconceived notions and expectations, filled with curiosity to experience something as if it were literally for the first time.
In the Beginner’s Mind, everything is fresh and new. We are able to free ourselves from our fixed mindsets of wanting to control life a certain way and make changes according to our desires. Instead we practice free will. And eventually, there is greater excitement for the unknown.
I invite you to experience this yourself. When you do lose your power and experience loss of hope at any time during this year, shift your awareness to the present by practicing the qualities of a Beginner’s Mind. The following guidelines will be of your assistance:
- Allow yourself to slow down.
- Put yourself in the mindset of experiencing the activity just like a child - curious, inquisitive, and excited to learn something new.
- Notice your attitude when experiencing this activity.
- Ask yourself – Am I resisting anything?
- Try to let go the need to control, to get it right or to be an expert at it.
- Relieve yourself by taking 5 deep breaths.
- And now, continue to experience the activity with a Beginner’s Mind. Enjoy!
PS – Come practice more Mindfulness qualities like the above at Still Waters Counseling in our upcoming workshops starting next month. Check out the PDF file attached to this post for more information!