The focus of the 40 Days to Personal Revolution program over the last week has been on “Centering”. According to Baron Baptiste this is trying to ensure that were actually present in the moment as we navigate our everyday lives and not distracted by the multitude of things that vie for our minds attention outside of this.
We talk so often about being in the moment, really being there, living in the now etc. but what does this really mean?
“I’m the awareness that’s aware”
For me it involves integrating the practice of constant mindfulness into my daily life which results in a sense of attention to the details of the now – this involves lightly focusing my attention on what’s happening in each moment and trying to holistically experience each activity, interaction, movement, sensation, and conversation, rather than allowing my mind to wander which removes me from the moment.
I asked a good friend of mine who is also an avid mindfulness practitioner and meditator, having completed some 12 ten-day silent Vipassana meditation retreats for their take on what’s involved in being “Centered” and they referred to it as mindfulness but pointed out that in addition to the minds focus it integrates the experience of the traditional senses including sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. According to them this practice results in the ability to become aware of the awareness, which is the true self, allowing one to cease blindly reacting to things, live with equanimity, and eventually achieve purity of the mind!
It turns out that being “Centred” or practicing mindfulness also makes you happy…
In a TED talk that I watched recently Matt Kilingsworth shared his findings on the correlation between mindfulness and happiness. Matt conducted a study involving 15,000 people that concluded that happiness has a lot to do with our ability to stay present and prevent our mind from wandering. In fact the study found that people are substantially happier when their mind is not wandering and they are in the moment or “Centred”.
Interestingly the study found that on average people’s minds are wandering 47% of the time as they go about their day-to-day lives, and amazingly 10% of the time when having sex! This tells me that if you want to improve the impact of your communication then tactics that bring people back to the moment are vital when making important points. As for sex if your mind is elsewhere you might need a new partner….
Being “Centred”, mindful, living meditatively, or whatever else you would like to call it will make you happier and ensure a richer, deeper, and more meaningful life experience! Meditation helps us to remain “Centred”. If you don’t meditate it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself – read my guide to getting started with meditation here!
“Stand in your fire!”
In week 5 my enjoyment of Yoga has gone to a whole new level. I’m mastering the flow part of power Vinyasa flow and as a result it’s making the practice more satisfying and fun. I’m having a ball, and so are all my fellow 40 day class mates! Looking around the studio during classes I’m seeing lots of smiles, people moving fluidly, and a significant reduction in clambering through the Asanas with elegance, grace, and strength featuring for 40 day program participants.
I’ve also experienced a personal breakthrough this week with a substantial improvement in my ability to complete the balancing Asanas without wobbling, toppling over, or taking out my neighbours on the mat! Over the last week I’ve embraced eagle pose (Garudasana), tree pose (Vrksasana), and Side Standing Leg Raise (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana B) managing to hold them all successfully.
The smell of victory is in the air, the final week of the 40 Days to Personal Revolution program is here and there is a sense of excitement and achievement around Yoga Loft Newcastle and amongst the 40 Day group. Now we commence Week 6 and it’s all about “Triumph”.
I look forward to sharing my experience with you at the conclusion of the 40 Days to Personal Revolution program!
See you on the mat!