Busy Women Can Be Mindful Too – Excerpt From the Book “The Mindful Woman” by Sue Patton Thoele
Busy Women Can Be Mindful Too
Because women possess an innate ability to perceive an expanded range of feelings, thoughts, and experiences, we are adept at consciously handling several things at once. That doesn’t mean you don’t get frazzled and frustrated. It does mean you can feel even better and more productive by attentively, purposely, and nonjudgmentally staying in the present moment. Having qualities such as diffuse awareness and sensitivity means you already possess excellent tools for creating a more peaceful, loving, and mindful life. With awareness and intention, you can be mindful within your busyness — the caveat being that busyness needs to be comfortable and enjoyable, not a fear-based busyness. We’ll explore both forms of busyness in various practices throughout the book.
Intention as Ally
Your thoughts and intentions announce your deepest wishes, desires, and goals to your subconscious mind, or inner sage, whose job it is to bring you more of what you project. It’s great to have so willing a friend as long as your thoughts are positive and your intentions are set consciously. So often, however, they are neither. Many of our thoughts and intentions reflect deep-seated fears, unhealthy beliefs, and intolerances. For instance, if we fear we’re not up to snuff in our job and think, “Good grief, how dense can I be?!” or “I’m never going to be able to learn all this!” sure enough, our brain, mind, and subconscious centers will obligingly provide what we ordered — feelings of inadequacy and stupidity. And, of course, such feelings make it hard for us to concentrate and keep us from learning as quickly and easily as we could if we were free from fear. Or, if we believe we’re being treated unfairly, gnaw on feelings of being cheated, and long for revenge, once again the inner sage will obligingly present matching experiences and feelings.
Luckily, thoughts and intentions are equal-opportunity magnets. Actually, I choose to believe they are tipped ever so slightly toward the love and joy side of the equation. Yes, we can attract negatives, but our benevolent inner universe really seems to want to give us the good stuff more than it does the difficult. Consequently, thoughts of love, tolerance, acceptance, and general goodwill combined with conscious, positive intentions draw more good to us than we can even imagine. On the other hand, unhealthy, fear-based thoughts and intentions draw to us more of the same. Henry Ford was right when he said, “Whether we think we can or think we can’t, we’re right.”
It’s important to know that your subconscious mind is extremely literal and unable to discern between “true” and “false,” “good” and “bad,” or “positive” and “negative.” What you say, believe, think, fear, and assume, the subconscious will do its darnedest to provide. The wonderful news is that knowing the nature of your inner sage gives you the understanding and ability to use the power of positive to mindfully set life-enhancing intentions that unerringly help you become a magnet for your desired results.
Intentions can be both expansive and minute. You can set far-reaching intentions, such as “My intention is to be a mindful woman,” or intentions for the moment like, “My intention is to pay absolute attention to my next four breaths.”
Expansive: My intention is to become more loving.
Minute: I choose to respond (or stay silent) lovingly toward ________ right now.
Expansive: My intention is to be a healthy weight for my body type.
Minute: I am choosing to forgo this piece of candy right now.
Intention is an invaluable ally on your journey toward increased mindfulness. One small step that can make a huge difference is to set an intention each morning before you are off and running. I might say, “Today I will be consistently kind.” A favorite intention or affirmation if I’m worried about someone I love is “I place _______ in the arms of angels today and know that she or he is loved and protected.”
Intentions are like personal angels who set our course and light the way to where we want to go and how we want to be in our lives, loves, and attitudes. Of course, because we’re human beings, we’ll fall short of our intentions time and again. When we do, it’s important that we take an accepting, angelic approach and love ourselves back into alignment. Gentle correction is much more effective than criticism and judgment.
Copyright © 2008 Sue Patton Theole
This excerpt appears here with permission from the publisher.
Sue Patton Thoele is a psychotherapist, former hospice chaplain, and bereavement group leader. She is author of eleven other books, including The Courage To Be Yourself, The Woman’s Book of Soul, Growing Hope, Freedoms After 50, and The Woman’s Book of Courage. Sue and her husband, Gene, live in Colorado near their adult children and grandchildren. For more information, please visit: http://suepattonthoele.com
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