The 6 Pillars of Fitness: Mindfulness

Fitness in Five is built on the idea that you need to commit to the six pillars of fitness to achieve maximum personal growth. Within each pillar lies a cornucopia of opportunity to learn, explore, and latch onto beneficial habits that resonate with your inner self and external environment.

In a series of six posts, I will be introducing you to each pillar in isolation, but it is important to keep in mind that all six pillars are erected on the same soil. This creates a system of interdependence and interconnectivity.

No matter what topic is being discussed under the Fitness in Five umbrella, mindfulness will always play a crucial role in the discussion. Mindfulness (or lack there of) is at the center of every success and failure you have in life.

Rather, mindfulness is at the center of your continued success or failure. Sometimes the universe perfectly aligns itself in your favor and you reap unexpected rewards. However, without a focused understanding of how these rewards came to be, this will be a "flash in the pan" kind of good luck and nothing more.

The same concept applies to your failures. But instead of fading away, your lack of attention to the lessons given will result in a constant cycle of mistakes and setbacks.

Your life is running a mile a minute and your mind is lagging way behind. Slow down, take a deep breath, and synchronize your mind with the life happening around you.

Integrating Mindfulness Into Your Life

To gently introduce you to mindfulness and all its glory, I want you to practice the following sequence each morning for the next few weeks:

Wake Up Early

The early hours of the morning provide a rare moment each day for you to embrace your environment when it is at peace. The more time you give yourself to explore this time of day, the less jaded you will become by the chaos that envelops the world as the sun moves high into the sky.

Go Outside

After you wake up, go outside and do the following breathing exercise:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose. Focus on the air as it cools your face, makes its way down to your lungs, and the power of the earth absorbs into your body.
  • Exhale through your mouth. Follow your breath up through your throat and out your mouth as you inject the world with your inner peace. 
  • On your second breath, squeeze each of your hands into tight fists, then release the tension and focus on the energy leaving your fingers.
  • On your third breath, simply breathe.
  • On your fourth breath, open your eyes and focus on the quiet life all around you. The sleeping grass, trees, houses, buildings, street signs, everything. Stay here for a moment, breathing in and out, slowly and consciously, taking in the unnoticed beauty of your surroundings. Smile.
  • On your final breath, raise your arms high above your head as you inhale, and then slowly lower them to your sides as you exhale one final time.

Sit in Quiet Contemplation

Once you come back inside, find your favorite place to sit. Sit up straight, steer your eyes forward and stare blankly into the space in front of you. Now, sink into a quiet contemplation. Choose any topic you feel is worth exploring. One day it might be a news story clogging the airwaves and the next day it might be understanding your self-identity. 

Whatever you choose, focus on that single topic. Pick it apart. Look at it negatively. Look at it positively. Look at it from the point of view of a child. Look at it from the point of view of your mother or father. Look at it from the point of view of your past self.

If you choose, you can collect these perspectives and reshape your own or you can simply let each opinion be as it may without judgment.

By committing yourself to these three simple actions, you will likely find the stresses of your day far easier to manage. You will also attract individuals emitting similar vibrations.

Fair warning, this could also shift your circle of friends. As you embody more and more positivity, you will realize the negative energy emitted by people around you. Sometimes the most fruitful decision you can make is removing yourself from toxic relationships. But start with the breathing practice and see where it takes you.

If you are looking for even more ways to integrate mindfulness into your life, check out these 6 tips over at Alfred James’s site, Pocket Mindfulness. Also, check out Sami Tellatin's 7 ways to focus on the present.

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