There are two ways in which you can look at mindfulness. Inside and Outside.
First, let’s see the outside way.
If you are new to mindfulness, you are more likely to start with the outside way. This way is to be mindful of everything that happens outside you; your focus is on your surrounding objects. You are aware of what you see; you are aware of what you hear; you are aware of what you smell; you are aware of what you taste; you are aware of what you feel across your body.
Though you interact with the outside world by using your body, mind, and your senses, but you direct your awareness on the nature of the objects you interact with, and not on what changes they cause inside you.
The outside way of mindfulness is useful to understand the nature of the world around you. By being mindful of things around you, you learn how other people act or react to any situation, how they rush from one thing to another throughout their day, how they waste away their time in pursuing useless goals.
You also learn why others are unhappy and why do they suffer. This makes you question your own definition of happiness. When you see others becoming sick and die, this makes you question your own mortality.
All this helps you realize what you yourself need to do, and what you need to avoid in your own life. This knowledge is also useful to you when you deal with the outside world on your day-to-day basis.
For most of us, the path towards mindfulness begins from the outside. It’s only when we feel unhappy of what’s happening outside us, do we look inside ourself to see our own lives.
It’s only then that we move towards the other direction in mindfulness, which is the inside way.
When you are mindful from the inside, you are aware of everything that goes inside you. You are aware of your thoughts; you are aware of your feelings; you are aware of all your senses.
When you are mindful from the inside, you see yourself for who you are. You see the type of thoughts and feelings that come to you. You see their nature, and you see how you are separate from them.
When you are mindful of what happens within you, you can see any negative thoughts and feelings as and when they arise. With time, you learn to have full control over them, and you make all your decisions mindfully.
Then, you are in perfect control of your speech, your actions, your mind, and you can choose to do the right thing every time.
To be in a mindful state is to be aware of everything that’s inside and outside you. But from the two, the one we are more concerned with is the inside one. You should strive to remain mindful from inside as often as you can.
The outside world is something you can’t control. No matter how much you try to change the world around you, be it in your home, or your office, you will often come across situations which you don’t want or which you can’t change. If you aren’t strong from within and aren’t mindful of your thoughts, you will end up taking the wrong actions, and saying the wrong things.
So be mindful from inside and see the world as an observer, not as a participant, and then take the right action which lies in conviction with your mindful self.
If you continue to be mindful from the inside for long enough, you will often find yourself in situations when your inside and outside mindfulness become one, and what remains is only the state of mindfulness and nothing else. Then, you see things for what they are, you see your own thoughts for what they are, and the only thing that remains is a mindful person who acts the right way as per the state of mindfulness.
Then you don’t even bother about inside or outside mindfulness. Any difference between them ceases to exist. What remains then is just one state – the state of true mindfulness.
Then you don’t make decisions based on your ego, or your feelings, or your conditioned mind. You make decisions that are in sync with your state of mindfulness, and which won’t harm any one. You start to have a peaceful effect on everyone else around you.
Your peace no longer remains within you, but starts to spread outside you. Everyone who comes in contact with you can see your peaceful face, and this makes them strive to become mindful and find peace in their own lives.
True mindfulness helps you make the right choices in life every time. It helps you do the right things, say the right words, form the right thoughts. It helps you live with peace and purpose every moment of your life.
Learn to be mindful of yourself and you learn the way that will lead you to a happy and meaningful life.
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