One of my favorite yoga teachers used to say, “How you do ANYTHING is how you do EVERYTHING.” Mind. Blown. Seriously? How I do anything is how I do everything? And I realized, multiple times over, that it is totally true. It came back to asking myself how I am going to show up in any given moment in my life and I saw that in order to do that, I was going to have to start paying attention.
Here’s what I mean; paying attention isn’t just about the people around me or the situation that I am in. It’s about noticing how I feel at any given moment and then asking myself two things:
- Do I need to adjust to this situation or behavior in some way?
- Do I need to act or change it in some way?
It all comes down to these two questions and the ability to answer them in a way that feels right. The challenge comes in discerning which one is “right” in any given situation. If I am in a state of present moment awareness, where I realize what is going on around me without attaching to it or judging it, I have the clarity to decide which one is right for that moment. The best news? If I get it wrong, it’s okay. I’ll have an opportunity to make another decision in just a minute and another chance to get it right.
The body is so incredibly smart. It regularly gives us information about what is going on internally; not just physically, but with our emotions as well. When something feels a little “off” we might get a belly ache, feel a gripping in the chest, or tightness in the throat. These are all messages and if we listen, we can act in accordance with what we are hearing. Sometimes these things are a whisper but if we don’t pay attention, they can become a scream and we are forced to act. It ultimately feels better to be able to make decisions from a place of more freedom and choice than from a situation where your hand is forced. When we give ourselves permission to pause, take a deep breath, or even walk away from something that might be difficult, we give ourselves the space we need in order to decide what will serve us best in any given moment. It seems like this would take FOREVER but it’s just seconds (sometimes it’s longer but, hey, it’s OKAY!). When we are constantly jumping from one thing to the next we are far from mindful, and within a short period of time not always clear on what we are saying or doing.
The Kabbalah teaches us that we make decisions all day every day, and if these decisions are made in alignment with our Source in mind, the consequences of those decisions will lead us closer to Source.
It is the practice of present moment awareness that guides us towards a state of mindfulness. The thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that drive me are not always patterns that serve my greatest good. That is certainly not how I want to anything, let alone everything. It’s important to have the ability to see things clearly so that decision making is coming from mindful awareness instead of old ways of thinking and being.
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