Recently, I have found myself reflecting back on some of the most important things I have learned over this past year. Out of all the good that has come, I think the most important has been my increased measure of mindfulness.
A simple definition of mindfulness is, “acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” Although it can be tempting to shut out everything we don’t want to deal with, accepting and acknowledging our own feelings and thoughts can be a HUGE benefit to us in the long run. In fact, the faster we allow ourselves to feel and move through our emotions, the faster we can heal.
While thinking about this topic, I found an interesting video (linked below) that I want to share with you all today! A woman named, Shauna Shapiro, talks about the power of mindfulness in our lives. One of my favorite quotes from her speech states, “Perfection isn’t possible, but transformation is.” What a beautiful way to look at life! Instead of beating ourselves up for not being perfect, we can instead focus on our ability to “grow through what we go through.”
This is something that I have found especially helpful in my own life. I have a terrible tendency to focus on perfection rather than growth. This has been a struggle for me my entire life–but over this past year, I have found much relief through mindful thinking and positive goal setting. Through mindful thinking I have been able to transform my thoughts from, “Why is this happening to me?” to, “How am I growing from this?”
Another point Shauna makes in her speech was connected to this idea of mindfulness and growth. She asks the questions, “What do you want to grow? What do you want to practice?” Asking questions like these and doing some self-reflection can allow us to transform our lives in miraculous ways! The more mindful we are, the more aware we can be of where we are now and what it will take to get ourselves to where we want to be.
Another area that I feel is worth bringing up was the negative influence shame can have in our lives if we let it. There is a lot of psychology that goes into this one. The learning center of our brains shut down the when shame makes its appearance.
Shame is a very interesting thing. Psychologist, Brené Brown, talks a lot about this in some of her books and TEDTalks. Everyone has it, and everyone hates it. Sometimes shame can be difficult to identify (which is why mindfulness is especially important here), but something that has helped me when learning to see it is the amount of hiding or avoiding I am feeling in my body when it makes its appearance.
Shame is hiding–shame does not want to be seen, heard, or talked about. When we are feeling shame, the last thing we want to do is talk about or notice it–but doing so doesn’t allow us to heal. Paying attention to these thoughts and allowing ourselves to work through the feelings and body sensations will ultimately allow us to heal what needs to be healed and work through what needs to be worked through.
In short, mindfulness can be powerful and life-altering in so many different ways–one of the most important of these being the relieving of shame in our lives. The more we allow ourselves the attention and focus we need, the more we can heal and grow.
I hope you have an amazing weekend and find some ways to practice mindfulness in your life! If there is someone who you think could benefit form reading this post, make sure to share it with them so they can work on being mindful too! ❤️