Want to Change in the New Year? It Starts with Mindfulness

Monday, December 25, 2017 · 6 Comments

Glass Ball Reflection
When it comes down to it, making change in life is driven by our intentions. Read over the following progression from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook a couple of times:

Intention shapes our thoughts and words.
Thoughts and words mold our actions.
Thoughts, words, and actions shape our behaviors.
Behaviors sculpt our bodily expressions.
Bodily expressions fashion our character.
Our character hardens into what we look like.

There’s simply so much truth to this. However, most of the time we live without intentionality, and that’s when we look back many years later and say, “Where did it all go?” It’s time to live as if every second matters!

We can think of mindfulness, the act of paying attention on purpose and without judgment, as a kind of mental training to be more intentional with our lives. Think about how the act of priming works: If the morning starts out with worries about all the work to do that day and the mind keeps practicing worrying, then when you get to work, everything you see will be regarded through an anxious lens. If you get some bad news and feel bummed out and practice rehearsing the difficulties of your situation, those are the glasses of perception that you wear. I’m not judging this process of perception as good or bad; I’m just pointing out the reality of how this works.

If we intentionally set time aside to bring more mindfulness into our lives, we’ll start priming our minds to see from a place of greater balance, flexibility, and compassion. Of course, this is if you’re practicing mindfulness without any hidden agenda of going along with a trend to look good in others’ eyes.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” That starts with intention. Consider, in this moment, how you want to be in this world. How might you remind yourself to be more intentional about that? You might practice this: “Breathing in, I open to my intention; breathing out, I let it be.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories, and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Adapted from Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

6 Comments

  1. Mary McLaughlin
    January 12, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Elisha – I\’m happy to read this today because it resonates with my own inner journey. I\’d been meditating/praying for inner guidance for a \”theme\” for this year but nothing that I came up with seemed really alive to me. Two days ago it occurred to me to ask myself in any given situation – \”does this choice align with my intentionality\”. I really liked that question and realized how essential it is that I clarify my intentions. So that\’s where I am now – honing my intentionality. Thanks for this posting. It\’s much appreciated.

  2. December 27, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Hi Elisha,

    Thanks for the article. I like your use of the work intentionality. In my line of work, many people are resistant to ‘mindfulness’ so it’s nice to have an alternative.

    Best wishes in the New Year, Tim

  3. Deia
    December 27, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Thank you Elisha I heard these words before, but not as elaborated. I will share these words here to reinforce your wish to serve others by all your wisdom.
    Your thoughts become actions,
    Your actions become your habit,
    Your habits become your character and
    Your character becomes you destiny
    I appreciate your call to set intentions that brings equanimity in life.
    I am recognizing how the habit loops and cravings , aversion and delusions can perpetuate my character and therefore my destiny.

  4. Andrew Lauckner
    December 26, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you, Elisha. I really appreciate reading your material and your book, Uncovering Happiness. My mindful practice has not been as consistent as Inwant it to be. And ironically my desire for a more consistent practice makes it harder. Thank you again. Take care.

  5. Jim Walshe
    December 26, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I am grateful to Elisha for the advice I have received from him the past 2 or 3 years, including this advice. I live in Sydney Australia and I am 81 years. Experience has demonstrated to me that throughout your life you need relevant psychological and spiritual advice if don’t want to stagnate, if you want to continue to grow.

  6. Suzy
    December 26, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Let it Be!!!

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