Roger Harty: Mindfulness In Everyday Life

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rsz_roger_hartyWhen you ask the question ‘what are we?’ an obvious answer is ‘Human Beings’.

To an alien coming from outer space that would sound very strange as he would observe that we spend the majority of our waking time ‘Doing’.

Perhaps we should be called ‘Human Do’ers’ instead – at the very least it would be a more accurate reflection on how we spend most of our lives.

The next question that arises is ‘has all this doing got us anywhere’. The truth is (without trying to be pessimistic) that it has got us a one way ticket to Armageddon if we keep on doing what we are doing.

If I am permitted one little piece of cynicism – 50,000 years ago a man could manage to kill six other people with a club now he can kill six million with the press of a button – We have really progressed!

It is also unforgiveable that we are rapidly destroying our planet with all sorts of pollutants – I don’t know of any other animal that would readily destroy its own living quarters.

This planet should at least be handed over to our children in a better way than we received it. Look at the Celtic Tiger – with all that doing, doing, doing, building, building, building, spending, spending, spending.

Were we any happier? I would suggest not and all it did was lead us down the proverbial Swanee (I am too polite to mention a certain type of creek without a paddle!)

Is there another way – Yes. Why don’t we try being ourselves? Try being what we are, try being Human Beings.

In other words simply ‘Be’.

To do this we have to realise that the human race has got so much out of touch with itself that we actually have to practice on a regular basis to get in touch with who we really are.

We have to practice being Mindful i.e. being present with where we are at a given moment. It is what our bodies were designed to do and it is how our ancestors lived but unfortunately we humans have, over the generations, got so greedy by wanting more and more and more that we have lost connection with the most important and priceless gift that we have – Our own bodies!

Just look at tribes not affected by modern greed. Take for example the Aborigines. They were treated and regarded by the Western World as savages. But they loved The Earth.

They appreciated the Earth. The believed and quite rightly so that Mother Earth would always provide. They knew that this was true because the Earth had always provided  for all their needs and had never left them down.

They had true faith and their bodies told them that all was well. They didn’t want to own the Earth as they felt that the Earth owned them and that everything was at ‘one’ in peace and harmony.

This is what Jesus meant when he said  “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

We can go to mindfulness or meditation classes or even look up YouTube for some very interesting videos (just look at the amount of hits they get), but more importantly that we can practice bringing it into our everyday lives by simply taking the time to connect with what we see, hear, taste touch and smell.

Remember two things a) the benefits can never be understood, they have to be experienced – understanding involves the ‘thinking’ mind which will lead you away from mindfulness and b) it may feel just a little uncomfortable at first as simply we are not used to doing it – we are out of our comfort zone and this can result in a slight feeling of unease which is normal.

There are many beautiful places in Kerry – lakes of Killarney, beaches of Banna, Ballyheigue, Ballybunion etc, our fabulous mountains stretching all the way back to Dingle.

I know that I have not done justice to them all (I can hear you telling me about all the places I have omitted ) but please make a New Year’s resolution and get out and practice Mindfulness in our most magnificent surrounds.

In this way we will get in touch with who we truly are and as a great bonus learn to treat with equal respect our fellow human beings.

Next week to start the New Year I am going to write about ‘Habits’

• Roger Harty is a life coach and can be contacted on 087-6128336, on twitter at @Innerjoyz1 or by email 

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