Lately I've been working on how I can be more mindful. Not an easy goal to achieve, and one which warrants constant vigilance (though should not be attempted while higher modes of consciousness are required such as when driving a car).
Being mindful means to increase awareness of one's thoughts and feelings by simply observing oneself. Easier said than done, mindfulness is best achieved through a meditative state. Only when the mind is at rest from our daily distractions can we begin to just be, and then observe the experience of just being. This must be done without analysis or judgment, lest a switch from being mode to doing mode. When we're doing, we are consumed with thoughts of past experiences and plans for future ones. Only through detachment from our daily doings can we achieve, through mindfulness, an inner peace, a presence of being which has the power to heal both mental and physical disorders.
If it sounds rather deep, it is. Though before even my efforts to better myself academically, I have desired to better myself spiritually by looking at how I can be a better person, to myself and to others around me. I am learning that through mindfulness comes a heightened awareness of self, and with that comes inner peace, joy, and bliss.
This is not a new concept, as it is one of the virtues of Buddhism and has been around for thousands of years. There is even medical evidence surfacing supporting the claim that inner peace through mindfulness relieves anxiety, stress, and depression. Researchers over at the University of Rochester are also currently studying the benefits of mindfulness, which appeared in this week's Democrat & Chronicle.
I have experienced some reward from being mindful, present, and in the moment, which is an inner calmness, happy with what I'm doing and where I'm headed. It is like tapping into the energy source of our very soul, one which I now believe to be limited only by our ability to become mindful. Tapping into this energy source is difficult to do, requires continuing effort, and I expect to be working at it for quite some time.