“My mind races with ideas and things I should do, have to do, should’ve done!  It’s like I can’t shut it off.”

I can relate to that.  Can you? That racing mind (monkey mind!) can be exhausting.  The worst part is waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.  Thoughts are scarier in the dark.

I used to struggle with this and then I learned some meditation techniques.  At first, the idea of not thinking, well, it seemed impossible.  It takes time, for some a lifetime, to silence thoughts and internal voices.  With disciplined practice, I have gotten pretty good at a few techniques that help me “dial down” and find peace, and – in the middle of the night – sleep.

Lately, I am learning about Mindfulness.

Being Mindful is being present. When we are willing to let go of thoughts of the past and the future, we are left with now.  Notice that the running-amok-monkeys live in the past or the future.  In the right now, we don’t have to deal with EVERYTHING.  We can just deal with what is happening.  Right now, there is room for a pause, and a chance to consider, what is going on in this moment.  We can chose the thought, the choice, the action that feels better.  The ones aligned with who we really want to be.  Allow that the past is over, and the future is only available in our imagination.  We can let go of the scary thoughts.  Yep, it takes some practice.  Then, in the now, we can make choices that could move us in the direction of our best selves. Delicious! And stress-less.

I’m just getting a feel for Mindfulness. When I start to “wind up” I often – not always! – pause to take a breath and make a choice.  Will popping this person in the nose make me feel better?  Maybe I could offer a smile instead.  Or make a polite escape.  Maybe I could use this moment to notice those around me.  To engage.  Instead of panicking over my calendar line up for tomorrow.

There are some really smart people talking about Mindfulness these days!  Let me turn you on to a few of my latest favorite books…