It seems like you can’t open a magazine, business book, or blog anymore without bumping into someone talking about mindfulness, trying to convince readers that being more mindful will alleviate stress.
But what does it mean to be mindful?
We hear the term so often, used in so many different ways, that it’s difficult to figure out exactly what it is and how we’re supposed to exercise it.
Some, who already have too much on their plate, will pursue the idea of mindfulness because an authority figure or article portrayed it as the perfect antidote to the stress and overwhelm that comes with their work. Partially correct.
When you’re practicing mindfulness, there’s a goal — awareness to process information, to observe the things happening around you and that you’re carrying inside you. For accomplished individuals who practice mindful meditation, they do achieve voluntarily command of their thoughts and inner dialogue, and are more skilled at releasing that which doesn’t serve them. For goal-oriented professionals who are new to mindfulness, there’s an expectation that it will lead somewhere, to a different feeling, new idea, or an end result that will help them quickly deal with their overwhelm.
However, many become frustrated when they realize mindfulness isn’t something you can power through to get results. It takes time and practice to remain mindful. When they don’t see immediate results, time “wasted” on something that feels fruitless only adds to the stress and overwhelm they’re doing their best to escape from.
I’ve been curious about why the idea of mindfulness actually becomes more of a burden, and in response to that, I’ve started to introduce the idea of being “mind-free” instead.
Finding Mindfreeness in Every Moment: What is being Mind-Free?
If being mindful is about quieting the multitude of thoughts in your head so you can focus on them one at a time, then being mindfree™ is about finding the best ways to disconnect from your thoughts altogether.
When your mind is full, and you’re exhausted by everything going on around and within you, it can be helpful to have a way to liberate yourself from the thoughts, messages, and expectations peppering you at all hours of the day (and night).
Becoming mindfree™ means looking for the things you can do to naturally quiet that chatter. There’s no expectation of what you should accomplish or how you should feel as a result of it.
@@Being mindfree is an opportunity to let thoughts fade away as you revel in something that brings you joy.@@
Have you ever wondered why you come up with the best ideas in the shower? Being mindfree™ starts with awareness, which fuels your uniquely inspired inner content. It doesn’t have to be a big event, and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. If there’s something that you really enjoy doing, that frees up your mind, and that inspires your creativity, simply do more of it!
You may need to try different things until you find the ones that work well for you. Tap into your preferences. What’s your most productive or favorite time of day to spend with yourself? What environments inspire your creativity and get your juices flowing? What distractions get in the way?
Once you start to get a sense of what those conditions are, and gain an awareness of where you get your best ideas, you can replicate the conditions to create the spaciousness you need. As varied as the answers will be from one person to the next, the common thread is that they can provide a reprieve from our thinking-thoughts, allow the organic nature of thought to surface, and provide us with opportunities to resolve, ideate, create and come back to our work from a different, less frenzied, and more inspired perspective.
We’re all unique, so your blueprint for mindfreeness will be very different from anyone else’s. Some people intentionally clear their heads by walking in a forest or running on the beach and ideas emerge. For others, it’s the rote acts of driving – a car, or a golf ball. Some prefer total silence, while others enjoy blasting music.
The clues are in those inspired moments of brilliance. It can happen anywhere you have the possibility to free your mind without expectation.
What new possibilities are on the other side of mindfreeness?
By quietly, intentionally, and deliberately creating the environments and rituals of spaciousness, incredible awakenings are possible. Press pause on intentioned thinking around solutions, options, scenarios, strategies, schedules, commitments, and deliverables, to stop and immerse yourself in the buoyancy of mindfreeness.
What subtle adjustments could you make to your day that would leave a little spaciousness for being mindfree™? What inspired moments of brilliance will you be capable of bringing forth, once you find ways to quiet the world around you and let your inner voice speak for itself?