On the last post, my friend Les, commented and asked that I provide clarity on my idea of being mindful. Thanks for asking Les, I hope this is answer makes things a little more clear...
For me, mindfulness means paying intense attention to my actions and the actions of others who affect or influence me. Like many people, I plan out my days and weeks by thinking of the "things" I need to do/buy/get. Or I figure out the tasks I need to complete, and people I need to see in order to get things done....whatever they may be.
My problem doesn't always exist in the "getting things done" part, it also lies in the margin (space) outside of the tasks. For instance, just as I was typing the words "for instance," I get a call from school saying one of my children wasn't feeling well and needed to come home.
That was not a planned event. And now, I've got to deal with the consequences of the reason that child needed to come home...and I'll be dealing with it in one way or another for the rest of the night. That, in turn, will shuffle other planned things in my schedule around a bit. Thankfully I had a clear schedule today so it won't have a huge effect. But if it continues tomorrow, that's a whole different story.
How I practice mindfulness, is by paying intense attention to "disturbance" or tension in my mind, body or spirit. God's given us an amazing internal capacity to be aware of danger - I like to call it Mommy Radar, but some people call it intuition or conscience. I'm learning how to tune my Mommy Radar to the presence of the Holy Spirit. Paying intense attention is the best weapon of defense I have and it's producing amazing clarity. Like all new things, it takes practice though!
This morning is a good example. When the kids were getting ready to head out for school, my spirit felt like this....
I had to ask myself...WHY?
Then I had to take the time to answer. Which started with me asking myself ten more probing questions until I came to the lightbulb moment. After that, I was able to calm down and pay attention to the day's tasks and see God in the process. Boy did I see God today!
In other forms of spirituality, I think mindfulness is defined by more of an emptying, but as I understand it in the spiritual realm, emptying the mind can be dangerous because other spirits can then enter. What you think may be God, may actually be something different. I was just reading yesterday morning about testing the spirits (1 John 4:1)...
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Sometimes Spirit talk can make people uneasy but it doesn't mean they're not real and waiting to influence and sometimes... take over.
When I'm praying in the Spirit, seeking God's presence and surrendering to his leading, He always answers because He promises guidance and He's faithful. I'm not always in love with the answer, but if I'm a true follower, I'm going to hear and obey.
I'm a daydreamer and an optimist by nature and I love nothing more than inventing happy stories with happy endings in my head, but the Spirit brings truth and sometimes truth hurts. Like now.
Busyness in my past life when my kids were young, dulled my awareness of reality somewhat. So I blew off some things I passed off as "normal" childhood behaviors/issues/fears. Adolescence isn't kind and some of those things I thought were normal, are manifesting themselves in disturbing ways. Now, we're having to deal with the disturbances and let me tell you, it's very costly.
I'm very grateful to God that we're able to pay for some good therapy and psychology for our kids, but had I known, I would have paid attention and made some different choices. I guess that's why hindsight is 20/20!
I hope I answered that question and feel free to ask questions anytime. I always hope people are able to profit or save themselves trouble from hearing about my mistakes:)