Fulfilling your vision in life involves understanding your core values and aligning your activities and priorities to support those values. This involves a discovery process, unearthing the possibilities available to you and exploring which possibilities will help you to achieve the life of your dreams, separating those options leading to happiness from those which will take you down the wrong path. What you may find surprising is the way in which your feelings may affect how you participate in the world and how your feelings affect your decisions, and ultimately your fulfillment in life.
Your feelings play into your thought processes. As we discussed in The Life of Your Dreams – Imagine the Possibilities blog, your thought processes weigh heavily on allowing yourself to dream about the various possibilities that may lead to you realizing and living your dream life. Therefore, it is necessary to be mindful of your feelings in order to guide your thought processes to those that support your growth and to maximize your potential.
HOW YOUR FEELINGS HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD OR HOLD YOU BACK
Think about it. When we are feeling happy, we may want to connect with our friends and family and share those feelings. We may even want to meet new people and learn new activities. These happy feelings enhance our ability to discover our possibilities. When we are feeling sad, we may want to spend time alone. When we are angry, we may lash out at those we are angry at, be it at work, home or otherwise. We may even blame them for things going wrong in our lives. Neither feelings of sadness nor anger are likely to help us recognize what opportunities lay before us.
Too often, we are not even aware of how we are feeling or how those feeling prompt us to act in certain ways, let alone are we aware of the consequences of those feelings to our lives. That is why it is important to learn to be mindful of our feelings. Being mindful means that we are conscious of how we are feeling, but are not judgmental of it. We merely acknowledge and accept our emotions and feelings at that point of time. With a little work, it is possible to learn to be mindful and to use this mindfulness to improve and direct our lives.
THE BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS
Being mindful of how we show up in situations allows us to dig deeper to be aware of the underlying feelings, or emotions, that prompt us to respond and act in a certain way in various situations. By practicing mindfulness and awareness, we can then learn to react differently. If a certain situation repetitively makes you sad or angry, you can learn from that and make different choices. You can choose to avoid that situation, or if that is not possible, you can recognize that you are likely to feel sad or angry and change your perspective to alter those feelings. Mindfulness ultimately gives you the ability to create a life more aligned with your core values and related priorities, because you can make changes as your level of awareness strengthens.
HOW TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness does not mean that you are ‘out there’ – being mindful means that you are consciously aware and make an effort to change things in your life based on your resulting feelings that you have in given situations. I’ve put together a short exercise for you to do on a daily basis to help you grow in your ability to be mindful and to be more in touch with your feelings.
MINDFULNESS EXERCISE: Each day, take 15 minutes to contemplate and answer the questions below. Yes, you deserve this quiet time for yourself! This minimal time commitment on a daily basis can literally be the difference of a ho-hum life versus a life where you achieve your destiny. So let’s get started.
- How do you feel right now?
- Are you peaceful and content about how your day unfolded?
- What happened during the day that you wish would have gone better? What were you feeling that caused you to act or react the way you did? What can you do to let go of those feelings?
- What happened during the day that you were pleased and joyful in? What were you feeling that helped you act and react in these instances? What can you do to keep yourself anchored in these feelings?
Commit to this exercise every day for 21 days. At the end of this three-week period, compare your answers from day one to day twenty-one. What did you learn? Are you closer to identifying with your true self than you were a mere three weeks ago? Chances are the answer will be a resounding yes. To continue to increase your ability to be mindful, take a few minutes each day to think about these questions. When an emotion or feeling strikes you unexpectantly, stop and reflect and learn. Use these opportunities to further know and understand yourself and to steer your life in the direction of personal success, your success!
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