Thursday, January 19, 2017
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6 Fitness Lessons You Can Learn from Mindful Meditation

Delve Into Your Messy Places

“We tend to avoid the messy parts of our lives, but these messy places are exactly where the most growth can be found. The stack of unopened bills might hide the key to financial discipline. The friend you haven’t called may have the word you need to hear. The overdue library books might hold an unwritten article or chapter. And yet we shy away from these messy places, partly out of simple laziness but also out of a fear of change. As much as we hate some aspects of our present realities, we hate the unknown even more. To go into those messy places is to risk having to do something about our complaints.”

Get Unstuck

“A car stuck in the mud will spin its wheels when the driver presses the accelerator. If you have ever been in that situation, you know that the temptation is strong to keep stomping on the pedal, as though more of the same could free the tire. The more effective way to free the tire is to place sticks or rocks underneath the tire so that it can gain some traction. Then, by easing forward slowly, the car can get out of the mud. So it is with our own minds. We can spin our wheels in the mud of our own delusions, our own repetitive narration about the world. Only the introduction of new content, a new way of seeing things, can free our stuck minds from the loop of sameness.”

Stop Forcing Things

“Our societies equate pacifism with weakness, gentleness with lack of resolve, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. This morning, think of some way in which you might be aggressively forcing a solution that just isn’t working. What would it look like to take a step back, to let go? Wait and listen for a few minutes and see if a simpler way appears. Sometimes the courageous way demands doing nothing, or acting in more subtle ways, behind the scenes.”

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Working with Resistance

“Look for the parts of your life that you do not wish to face. Make the effort to observe this resistance and its source. Make sure to be generous today with that uncomfortable situation. Give it more of your time and attention. You don’t need to muscle through the problem, but you do need to face it directly. Pursue mindful, constructive action, and then let nature take its course.”

Don’t Get Taken By Your Own Thoughts

“A negative feedback loop exists between fraught internal dialogue, physical states of the body (particularly shallow breathing and rapid heart rate), and states of the brain (such as the production of stress hormones). To put it simply, thinking about a problem excessively only magnifies the perception of doom and gloom. The brain and body respond to every perceived threat as though it were a real threat: The body and mind believe what you tell them to believe. To slow down and eventually reverse this cycle, it is necessary to intervene mentally by moving out of a mode of frantic self-talk and into a mode of observation.”

Forget About Whether or Not It’s Working

“We can get into an anxious state of mind where we want to know if we will fulfill our goals in life. In spirituality, this is manifested as a desire to know whether or not the practice is working, and so we examine ourselves for signs of some sort of enlightenment…. The hard thing is to just do the practice and not worry about whether or not it is working, and to be fully immersed in life.”

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