In today’s world, we are more stressed and overwhelmed than ever. Digital input bombards our senses almost every second of our waking hours.
Growing up in the '70s and '80s, I remember my grandparents taking me to see the first “Star Wars” movie. When Yoda was introduced in “The Empire Strikes Back,” the idea of focusing a Jedi’s mental energy fascinated me. For a kid like Luke Skywalker who didn’t have much, it was the one weapon he could call on at any time. He couldn’t lose it to Darth Vader unless he let his guard down, and he could strengthen and develop it himself with practice. The ability to focus awareness to influence how you respond to the world is a powerful thing. In real life, it’s sometimes hard to navigate without periodic introspection. Many heroes from our youth often had some special ability or power. That “super power” often was the ability to gain insight into the world around them to be able to carry out their mission. While most of us aren’t called on to save the universe, we can improve our ability to change how we respond to our lives and our world through mindfulness. The next thing on your mind might be, “How does just being more mindful help me in 2017 — modern day America?”
Ever driven somewhere and then arrived at your destination and thought, “Wow, I don’t remember the trip here!” Your awareness in those moments was focused on something other than the task at hand – driving. Once you learn to identify and harness your awareness, you can learn to focus it on the things that you want to be more aware of: eating habits, emotional state or amount of daily stress. That’s where the real change happens. Remember that resolution you made in January? Have you already broken it? Statistics from the website The Statistic Brain show that well over half of people break their New Year’s resolution within
six months, so don’t feel bad.
Mindfulness can be that internal personal motivation that helps us identify when we have stopped short of our resolutions and gives us enough “oomph” to keep us headed toward positive change. It can help us take back some of our personal control that we may have lost, be happier and more committed to the person we want to become. If we become more mindful, allowing decisions and behaviors to come from a relaxed, calm, balanced place, wouldn’t that
be a better world for us all?