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Mindfulness: A Returning Journey To My Innate Goodness

By Chika Okorafor
12 September 2022   |   2:20 pm
I practice mindfulness and compassion as it helps me to get better at life. This thing called adulting is not for children! Mindfulness and compassion, or “heartfulness,” as I like to call it, is not something new to me and my success certainly hasn’t been overnight. Mindfulness is the awareness of knowing what you’re doing…

I practice mindfulness and compassion as it helps me to get better at life. This thing called adulting is not for children!
Mindfulness and compassion, or “heartfulness,” as I like to call it, is not something new to me and my success certainly hasn’t been overnight.

Mindfulness is the awareness of knowing what you’re doing as you’re doing it rather than being on ‘auto pilot’ and Compassion is asking what you need at any moment. It is how I have discovered, rediscovered, experienced, used and benefitted from mindfulness and compassion and how when I understood it had been the thread connecting my whole life, life stopped happening to me and started flowing through me.

It made me realise that ageing can be beautiful. Interestingly, recent empirical studies have shown a positive association between meditation and longer telomeres.
So yes, I cry because it is my body’s biochemical way of getting rid of junk! I hug- a little longer because it benefits my brain! I welcome the unpleasant and pleasant and neutral, all emotions and I smile A LOT.

I find that the times I don’t practice mindfulness are when I am susceptible to external influences and control of the ‘wants’. Practising compassion quickly reminds me of my ‘needs’.
I’m an applied physiologist and I’m mindfully and compassionately working on myself for love, health, wealth, and happiness.

My Mindfulness journey began with a breath. Being born mindful, all feeling crying and discovering the word ‘no’ early. I have a long list of examples of when it has been there for me from as early as 5 years old because of my parents. As a child, being mindfully parented allowed the discovery of talents and gifts early, it also kept me grounded.

However, I had a pickup-and-drop relationship with my practice. But in December 2016, I found myself in excruciating back pain and unable to move at all. I was hospital bed-bound. Thankfully, my paralysis was temporary, the chronic pain unfortunately not. Summarily, mindfulness and compassion helped me pull through and to date. That terrifying week, I vowed to cultivate a daily mindfulness and compassion practice and also start work on my business plan. This led me to embark on a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme. It was during participation in this 8-week course that I had an absolute light bulb moment. Mindfulness showed me clearly that I was my worse own enemy.

Although my mind traps told me I could handle stress and it was others’ fault, it was not the case. I was stressed and over the years my body had kept a score until it could no longer and the only way it could get me to notice was to stop me dead in my tracks. The compassion allowed me to listen with kindness, told me what I needed, to follow my passion and leave my stressful job.
Covid lockdown accelerated my learning and service to others. Here are a few of the life stage moments mindfulness and compassion have supported me.

Discovering talents, gifts and purpose
Performing on stage using mindfulness to deal with stage fright and performance anxiety
Mindset
Emotional intelligence
Anxiety
Stress
Burn out
Illness
Compassion fatigue
Loss, Death and Grief
Trauma
Childbirth
Parenting children through the developing life stages
Paralysis and Chronic pain
Fitness, Health and Nutrition
Ageing
Interpersonal and social etiquette
Mindfulness and compassion help me use these challenging moments as opportunities for transformation.

Mindfulness and compassion have to be ‘practised’ daily. It is my gym workout for my mind, heart and body. So, I will forever be a mindfulness and compassion work in progress.

On the other hand, Mindfulness and focus the like two sides of the same coin; mindfulness is the attention on the inside and focus is the attention on the external.
When we learn to see that struggle is necessary and important and a positive part of our journey, we find true peace and personal power.

Mindfulness is not therapy, yet it is very therapeutic.
It works not only on your mental health but the physical, intellectual, emotional and social health of all ages and stages as it did during the lockdown.
In the words of Mark Nepo: “My soul tells me we are all broken from the same nameless heart. Life is the many pieces of that great heart loving itself back together again.”

A Mini Mindfulness and Compassion PRACTICE:
S.T.O.P Practice
Stop
Take A Breath
Observe your thoughts, feeling emotions and environment
Proceed with mindful choices (Ask yourself, “what do you need?”)
ABOUT

I am an Applied Physiologist and the British Association of mindfulness Based Approaches
(BAMBA) UK Registered MBSR Teacher.

WWW.learnomic.org
@learnomic
Learnomic@gmail.com