Recently, I discovered a book How to Train a Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays. I was drawn to it because Bays lists 53 simple daily mindfulness practices for living life more fully and joyfully. Wonderful.
But here is what really caught my attention. Bays lists six benefits of mindfulness, several I’ve not read before or put in context the way she did.
Here are three that I want to share:
- Mindfulness Conserves Energy. Bays says that when we are not present, our minds will go to one of three places: the past, the future, or the fantasy realm. She calls this “leapfrogging” which is a waste of our mental and emotional energy. I know that but I was not as conscious about this waste until I read it. Yes, a waste when instead we could be present, fresh and open to respond to whatever happens now.
- Mindfulness Is Good For The Environment. The restless mind leapfrogging from past, future and fantasy life is not only pointless, but destructive. And, the fuel for this is anxiety. Anxiety affects the inside of us – heart, gut, etc. – and affects every being we meet. We become contagious with fear and anxiety which spreads to everyone. Bays says, “Mindfulness involves resting our mind in a place where there is no anxiety, no fear.” And that place is in the moment.
- Mindfulness Creates Intimacy. “Our essential hunger is not for food but for intimacy.” Mindfulness enables us to be conscious and always accessible to life regardless of the isolation we may experience. Life is right before us to be experienced. We don’t need to travel far distances to find it.
What have you experienced from mindfulness that conserves energy, is good for the environment, and creates intimacy?