Becoming Mindful

Mindfulness is a really hot topic right now. You can’t go too long without someone talking about this seemingly new idea of mindfulness. Everyone’s talking about positivity, and yoga, and meditation.. And mindfulness. So what is it? & what’s all the hype about?

Mindfulness is simply the idea of accepting the present moment for what it is without judgement or criticism. With mindfulness practices, we become better able to be “present” in our daily lives, and are able to simply notice when we’re not.

I unknowingly had my first encounters with mindfulness as a child through Karate. My father (formally known as Pops) has a Karate School (Integrity Martial Arts, or some of you may know it as Kwanzaa Martial Arts Academy) and I grew up practicing karate under him with my brothers. We would have to take a moment to sit in silence before we recited our membership oath and practiced. We would sit in silence again at the end of class. I had no idea I was truly having my first encounters with meditation at the time. I legit just thought I was doing what I had to do to be a little ninja. Now, being a meditation/mindfulness teacher, I can see how I’ve gradually begun to build this practice and skill of meditation and mindfulness.

My study of mindfulness really began in college when my family was going through some tough times. On top of that I was failing 3 classes, had 3 friends pass away, drinking my body weight in alcohol, in a rocky relationship, Sorority Life-ing, and trying to cope with what I wasn't registering at the time to be stress and depression.  A lady at church gave my mom a book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Through that book, I was able to learn about this concept of the Law of Attraction.

I had always appeared to be an incredibly energetic and positive person by nature to the outside world, but inside, I was suffering. The Law of Attraction (LOA) began to teach me to see positivity as a lifestyle that I would strive for, It was like an art - something I began practicing to get stronger at. Through it - I was able to foster some of that positive energy internally and become more accepting and loving towards myself. The person who everyone else knew and loved, started to become the person that I knew and loved.

I began to see that when I was really positive about life, positive things would happen in my life. When I was negative about life, negative things would happen. I started paying attention to my attitude and becoming more introspective and analyzing my behavior. It also led me to feeling more connected to God and incredibly in tune with my faith and spirituality. I was paying more attention to my environment, who my friends were, what conversations I was having, the music I was listening to, the way I spent my time - and I started to slowly make adjustments. I was becoming mindful.

Being young and new to the whole practice, naturally, I hit some bumps along the way. I would do well for awhile, and then fall off for awhile. I lived pretty reckless for quite a few years. But, whenever I would pick it back up, it would be good as new, and I would start to feel more in tune with things in my life and more connected to my creator. I had this tool that I could have easily mistaken as a super-power that allowed me to always come back to this good feeling when I consciously wanted it bad enough. This tool was mindfulness - the ability to sit with the things that I’ve done. Not drink them away, not ignore them, but to face them - and to be able to forgive myself for my shortcomings and still recognize the God in me.

The Law of Attraction forced me to become more mindful. I became more accepting of life for what it is. Slowly caring less about the things I couldn’t control. Wanting to dive deeper into understanding human behavior and how to find optimism in the darkest corners of life. I began teaching my friends and family about this idea of just being really freaking grateful just because you were blessed enough to be. Some people thought I was going crazy when I would talk about positivity, visualization, vision boards, and the importance of creating good. Others were really open to the idea and were totally on-board (shoutout to my 5ive crew! Rockchalk!)

Now, almost 9 years later.. *takes a moment to cringe*.. I’m steady learning, and as I learn, I teach. I’ve become certified in yoga and mindfulness and incorporate these practices into my daily life. What I love most about this practice is that it is universally endorsed. I can talk to the Christian, the Muslim, the Atheist, the Jewish, or the Buddhist about it and everyone can agree that there’s nothing wrong with optimism and presence. If anything, there is such an extreme lack of it and desire to see it manifest in our daily lives.

I still make mistakes, I still have times where I handle my stress terribly, or I fail to be the most mindful. I’m human, but the difference with finding these practices has been my resiliency. I have a greater ability to bounce back faster and actually learn from my mistakes. I can see an ability and willingness to admit my faults and flaws and see myself as human. These qualities have manifested in my life simply because I decided to pay attention to myself, my environment, and be intentional about who Amanda Safiyyah Muhammad would be in this world.

If you don’t know where to start with your mindfulness or Law of Attraction journey - start with your mind, everything starts there. Check out my book Mako Mindfulness: 9 Tools for Stress Management to learn more about the power of your words and thoughts and get some quick tips on how to start shifting your mindset. Create an amazing day.

Amanda

#MindfulMoment Think of 3 people you’re grateful you met this year