Mindfulness is a hot topic these days as increasingly the mental health benefits of incorporating periods of simple ‘beingness’, without thought, are being recognized and supported by evidence based research.
There is increasing acknowledgement that setting time aside for ‘non doing’ to quieten the mind enhances our personal awareness and coping abilities.
While the mainstreaming of mindfulness owes much to the influence of Buddhist philosophy on western cultures, no longer are meditative practices seen in a narrow religious context. Mindfulness does not necessarily require a commitment to some form of meditation, rather it is a state of mind, where at any time during the day, we can choose to mentally take a step outside our thought programs, if only for a few minutes.
The focus of this article is to highlight the benefit of mindful action. We take action to get us from ‘here’, where we are now, to ‘there’, where we want to go. Mindful action is about getting in touch with our true nature and feelings, and being grounded, present and aware before we choose our actions. It involves acting out of conscious awareness of specific circumstances, rather than mindlessly following some ingrained pattern of behavior. Being mindful before doing gives us access to the quiet voice of our inner wisdom and sources of creativity.
Sometimes after taking action we can become impatient for results or sit in expectation for a particular outcome from our action, particularly when the subject matter is something we care about. If this happens it can be helpful to remind ourselves that we have no control over how others will respond to our actions.
More than that we have only a limited perspective on what the best outcome should be, although our Ego will tell us otherwise ! We may also begin to doubt whether we have taken the ‘right’ action. Far better to do and let go, or hand over the outcome to your ‘higher power’, whatever works for you.
Letting go frees us to stay present to the other things that need our attention and which we can influence. There may come a time when you will want to act again in relation to the situation; but that is for later.