Practising Mindfulness

A little bit more about me.

I spent a lot of my mid to late teenage years by myself.

Sounds rather sad and pathetic, right?

I wasn’t always a recluse but at one point, I just felt like I couldn’t connect with any of my peers. I liked things like classic literature, history and general knowledge but the people around me would rather gossip or talk about materialistic things… like normal teenagers, I suppose.

Or perhaps I just couldn’t connect myself to others. It’s an interpersonal skill that I failed to pick up at that age because I only cared about myself. I was a selfish person.

And so I became a recluse. I remember vividly spending lunchtime almost every day eating the food I brought from home at a staircase on the highest level where no one would walk by at that hour. I’d also stare into the horizon and think.

I was thinking a lot. Judging perhaps, who knows. But I was definitely in my head a lot.

In retrospect, that’s both good and bad. The bad thing might’ve been that I didn’t share those thoughts out and develop the ideas into something potentially tangible.

The good thing that came out of this seclusion was mindfulness.

Because I had spent so much time in my own thoughts and observing my surroundings, I’ve developed a certain awareness of not only my own self but also the environment.

I began to notice the nuances of human behaviour. I began to realise how herd mentality hinders individual progress. I began to see how our society has been set up to be distracted.

These bits of awareness and information were somewhat pieced together to allow me to see the current system as a whole.

And while I was looking through the lens of the bigger picture, I got a glimpse of an alternative bigger picture. A picture where human beings are collectively more conscious of their actions and actually use their intelligence for the greater good.

It may seem like a fairytale, spun by the voice of an inner child, but I believe in the saying that you have to be the change you wish to see.

Being mindful of every action and its consequences is key to making a change. And it’s not a goal one can achieve, rather it’s a work in progress or a means to an end.

And the best part about being mindful is the feeling of having control over your mind, body and spirit.

Obstacles will come your way, but it’s a matter of how you react to them that determines the degree of impact. Knowing what to do during such a time is a practice of mindfulness that I think all of us should take the time to learn.