Ever heard of mindful living? It’s become quite popular in recent years thanks to countless scientific research studies showing its benefits.
The truth is, mindfulness practice has been around for centuries thanks to spiritual teacher Gautama Buddha, who founded Buddhism.
The basis of mindfulness is being aware of what’s happening in the present moment without judging it or wishing it were different.
While the practice offers many benefits, you need to consistently keep at it to reap the rewards.
Below are 11 simple concepts about mindfulness that you may adopt into your daily life.
1) Your only reality is THIS MOMENT, right here, right now.
This famous quote from Buddha sums up this principle best: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
The past is an illusion. The future hasn’t arrived. The only thing that’s real is what’s happening right now.
2) A negative thought is harmless unless you believe it.
Thoughts come and go all the time. It’s natural. Suffering occurs when we attach ourselves to our thoughts. The reality is, our thoughts don’t really mean anything and they’re not who we are. When you take a step and observe your thoughts from a distance, you realize that if you’re observing them, then they can’t be you. Eckhart Tolle says it best:
“What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am.
Who am I then? The one who sees that.”
3) You will not be punished for your anger, you will punished by it.
We all get angry from time to time, but acting on this anger rarely results in something positive. It’s easy to get angry, but true courage involves doing something productive about it. When you realize that the present moment is all we have, you’ll come to understand that life is too short to spend time being upset and angry.
As Lao Tzu said: “The best fighter is never angry.”
4) Inner peace is knowing how to belong to oneself, without external validation.
Many people are concerned about what other people think of them. But you don’t look to others to find yourself. You are who you are and what others think about you doesn’t make a difference to that. Osho provides some inspirational advice to not care what other people think of you:
“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself...
Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant!
Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.”
5) Everything is created twice, first in your mind and then in your life.
Our brains are powerful instruments and they create the world around us. And the truth is that you won’t act unless your brain knows what you’re doing. So have your plans and goals in place, and then take action.
“The future depends on what you do today.” – Mahatma Gandhi
6) We ourselves must walk the path.
Life comes with many challenges and adversities for everyone, but the one thing with have control over is how much effort and willpower we put into something. We can’t attach our happiness or success towards outside objects. It all lies within us.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha
7) To strongly believe in something, and not live it, is dishonest.
Don’t bend to what “society” wants you to be. Don’t change who you are so other people will accept you. It’s important to be authentic and follow your heart. Characterize yourself by your actions and you will never be fooled by other people’s words.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss
8) The right path and the easy path are rarely the same path.
You’ll eventually come to realize that struggle is what makes you grow, and it’s always worth it. While every step may be tough, it will lead you to where you want to go. Just because something seems difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. In fact, it’s all the more reason to chase your goals.
“Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.” – Buddha
9) If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs.
So many people ask themselves questions like “what am I passionate about?” to find their purpose in life. However, a better question is “what is worth suffering for?” This will help you find what you truly want to do, and your life will be more fulfilling because of it.
Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
10) Over-committing is the antithesis of living a peaceful, mindful life.
So many of us have a massive to-do lists filled with tasks that we couldn’t possibly finish in one day. We have to abandon the idea that there is honor in being busy. However, sometimes it can be more rewarding to focus on one task at a time and mindfully be absorbed by it. We also need time to rest and appreciate the beauty of life.
“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”
– Steve Maraboli
11) When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little.
As human beings, what is it that’s so alluring about control? We desire the certainty and comfort. The irony is that there is actually no such thing as control. We are never in control. Ever. The sooner we grasp this and learn to go with the flow a little more, the easier life will be.
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” – Chinese Proverb
excepted from "The Power of Ideas"
updated 10/2017 with resources
This post is dedicated to a friend and fellow therapist, Barbara Heard, who has had the passion and dedication and courage to lead the way to normalize full chest and breast massage, de-sexulize it and make or keep this work legal in her state, and other states, Her mission is to properly educates the public, therapists and public officials about why this work is important. First and foremost, what is full chest and breast massage? It is not sexual, in fact it is exactly the opposite,
When receiving full chest massage done with professional, neutral, totally non sexual touch one has the most amazing holistic experience of feeling their chest as an integrated part of their body. Full chest massage on men is very common but discouraged or assumed to be sexualized on women, in America mostly,
Massage of the anterior chest wall is effective treatment for injuries to the chest, shoulders and neck. Full chest massage with pressure applied to the muscles deep to the breast tissue with consistent firm flow over the rib cage helps both tone and relax the chest muscles as needed, just as happens when we massage the muscles on the posterior rib cage, or other parts of the body. The effect is to enliven the rib cage so that it gives better support to the shoulders and neck, which relieves tension and discomfort in these areas and assists in treating neck and shoulder injuries.
Massage of the anterior chest wall and breasts facilitates experiencing one's breasts as a normal and natural part of our bodies.
By encouraging easy breathing, releasing tension in the muscles and bones located in the chest, and encouraging healthy flow of blood and lymph, chest and breast massage can support overall physical wellness, as well as mental, emotional and spiritual well being. It is effective as part of treatment protocol for shoulder and neck injuries.
Breast massage with a treatment focus
Breast massage can also effectively treat conditions such as scar tissue, lymphedema and other cancer related issues, recovery from mastectomy, recovery from breast reduction or breast augmentation procedures, problems with lactation, and swelling related to cycles.
Reclaiming an often lost natural connection to parts of the body
Informed Consent / Supporting public safety: You always have the right and the responsibility to direct any therapist not to massage any part of your body which you prefer to be avoided. The informed consent protocol designed by Barbara includes a full detailed explanation and written detailed consent. This is designed to support public safely by preventing incidents in which clients receive unwanted touch. It is not universal, as not all states allow for this work, but where it is legal, the protocol should be applauded and adopted. It removes shame, keeps the client in control and promulgates the idea that the human body is normal, in all shapes and sizes.
For more information on Barbara's work click here
For a European perspective click here
Interested in learning more? Check out these resources
Chest & Breast Massage Resources
online articles & websites
Breast Wellness: article by Debra Curties, published in 2003 in ABMP magazine. ~ Debra Curties is a well respected author in the field of breast massage education. She is the author of the book entitled Breast Massage. Debra lives and works in Canada.
Breast Massage: article by Kellum Johnson ~ how to do breast massage, along with some insightful comments. Kellum Johnson is a massage therapist licensed in Texas.
Breast Massage Therapy: information on website of Tony Ruggeiro in Texas ~ summary of benefits of breast massage, and more. Tony Ruggeiro is a massage therapist in Greensville, South Carolina
Breast Massage Good for Mothers Before and After Delivery: article by Phyllis Hanlon, published in 2013 in Massage Magazine. Phyllis Hanlon is a professional author and frequent contributor of articles in Massage Magazine.
Breast Massage from a Massage Therapist: Have you considered it?: article by Pam Fitchner in WHOlife, Wholeness & Wellness Journal of Saskatchewan, Canada. Pam Fitchner is a massage therapist in Saskatoon, Canada. She also facilitates workshops on breast and belly and complementary health.
A series of blogs articles on breast care and massage: article by Aristide M. LaVey in the Massagewallah blog. Aristide M. LaVey is a massage therapist who practices in Los Angeles, CA.
Breast Massage: on the Brink of Understanding? article by Karrie Mowen (Osborn) in the ABMP website, first published in 2001. Karrie Mowen is/was a contributing editor of the ABMP Massage & Bodywork magazine.
Female Breast Massage for Better Health: article by Nancy L. Ring on an ABMP supported website, published in 2009. Nancy L. Ring is a massage therapist in Cornell, Michigan.
Desexualizing the Touch Experience – A Proactive Approach: article by Cherie Sohnen-Moe, published in Massage Today. Cherie Sohnen-Moe is a highly respected massage therapy educator.
Innate Traditions, postpartum care: an organization offering training on postpartum care for women, a holistic system of care which honors women's physiological design. Rachelle Garcia Seliga’s work is dedicated to midwifing a cultural shift that honors innate wisdom, personal authority and the sanctity of Life.
Breastnotes.com: BreastNotes.com was created to help people to understand the breast: its development and growth patterns, its function and purpose, its role in various societies, its care, and its problems. It has information about going without a bra, health practices, cancer and lots more. One could spend days reading this fascinating website!
Post Surgical Therapy for Mastectomy and Implants an article by Paul Lewis on the Massage Therapy Canada website.
The Happy Breast Book by Cheryl Chapman
Breast Massage by Debra Curties
Therapeutic Breast Massage 1hour 48 minute DVD by Meade Steadman, published by Aesthetic Video Source.
short video by Barbara Helynn Heard: this 2+ minute video on YouTube demonstrates how I massage the chest as part of a fullbody, wellness focused massage for both men and women.
short video by Barbara Helynn Heard: this 3+ minute video on YouTube demonstrates how I massage the chest as part of a fullbody, wellness focused massage for women.
Abhyanga Ayurvedic Massage: this 2+ minute video introduces a full body Ayurvedic massage which integrates the full chest into the treatment.
Ayurvedic Massage at Indian Spa: This video shows the chest and abdomen being massaged as an integrated whole starting at 12:45.
Breast Self Massage In this brief, how-to video, Aubrey Lesicki, BS, LMT, teaches the PHAST technique of breast self-massage. The PHAST breast self-massage technique is a quick, simple way to manage your breast care, improving breast circulation as well as the quality of the tissue texture.
Phluff Your Girls and the Happy Breast Book with Cheryl Chapman: Cheryl Chapman is a breast health advocate & teacher & lectures on breast health nationally.
short video showing movement of diaphragm a YouTube video
Video showing full Breast Massage
Another Video showing full Breast Massage
This article was written from and excerpts taken with permission from Barbara Heard
Emotional Healing Through Massage Therapy
Sometimes you have to be dangerously close to a problem to see and or effect the solution. In seeking a path, Clients who may have suffered from trauma or abuse benefit from some form or forms of emotional healing - it is not always easy and requires a certain bravery and trust. But the rewards are worth it. It can change your life. Many of these people are touch averse and their brain more frequently associates touch sensations as negative. Part of our nervous system has a "decider" switch of sorts, when your nerves are stimulated by a touch impulse, a "pre-signal" is sent and very quickly the brain has to decide if this is good touch or bad touch and respond accordingly. To illustrate how this works, think of your self and a frind you are starting to like, or a significant other and you are walking along in a park and your upper arms touch. How does it make you feel? Probably warm, probably wanting more? No imagine you are sitting on a bus or train and some undesirable person is next to you and they move so that their arm rubs up against yours. Now how would that make you feel? Creepy? would you pull away? But its the same sensation! Only in context is it good or bad. For touch averse people, their brain sends out the "bad" signal even when the touch is "good" until it gets re-trained.
In order to help the healing process one must retrain their brain to associate certain touch with positive, and over time the positive feeling push aside the negative ones and healing begins. We all need touch, it has been proven, And yet we are all in some small way becoming touch averse, even if we have not suffered a traumatic experience. We are living in more interconnected than ever with the internet yet at the same time we are more isolated than ever for the same reason, the internet. Moreover society has been making all forms of touch taboo. Things you might have seen in the 1950's as normal, a teacher and a student, a parent and another persons child are all more and more being assumed to be "inappropriate" Touch is becoming associated with fear, and this needs to change.
But back to trauma and emotional healing. Very often the people that need touch most experience it the least. The good news is that it does NOT have to be that way. Healing can happen, in everyone. But you need to start.
This is among the work of which I am most proud. If you are or know someone who has suffered and would like to regain control and begin or complete the healing process, please contact me or share my contact information with them. I say begin or "complete" because in most cases individuals in this situation will seek out therapy (verbal therapy) support groups (again mostly words) and never get around to the core which is touch itself.
The following post is a beautifully written poetic piece on the idea of bodywork for emotional healing. I share it with you here in its entirety for you to read and enjoy.
Persons seeking a path to heal might be justifiably nervous about what seeing a massage therapist like myself might entail. Rachael Scott, a colleague wrote this and I believe sums things up in a simplified, poetic, non-technical post.
What happens in a Bodywork Session? (trauma)
What happens in a Bodywork Session? *
Whether a single, jarring incident or hurt inflicted over time - trauma permeates every layer.
The pain is conscious and un(der)conscious.
It's physical, emotional and spiritual.
It's communal, familial.
Trauma creeps down our spines, makes a home in our bellies, connects wires to our brains where the machine replays the most terrifying moments of pain.
Over and over on a loop so we don't forget.
Trauma winds, spirals, clenches and creeps.
It drips into every cell, making its way into the past and future.
Now bodywork... that's here.
Here in between these four walls, you're safe.
You, me, this pain.
Just the three of us ready for a different kind of conversation.
I reach out my hand to find the place where it hurts.
You breathe in, tentatively at first, unsure but ready to listen.
The pressure feels pleasant.
A welcome reprieve.
You breathe deeply, discovering new places within yourself.
Through my offered touch you embark on a sensory journey.
The trauma and the pain show up as guides.
And we get to know them.
They don’t want to hurt you.
They say, “I have something to show you.”
We wander over and explore new sensations.
And it gets easier.
Then you say, “My body is my friend.”
Thank you Rachael Scott
See her original post here
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.