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I think the reason so many people find Mindfulness ‘liberating’ and ‘life changing’ is that they develop the tools to become more self aware and manage their emotions better.

One of the biggest insights that participants tell me about is that they see (often for the first time) their freedom to choose their response whatever the circumstances or event.

After a few weeks of practice calming the mind, they begin to be able to untangle the stimulus or ‘event’ / ‘situation’/’interaction’ and see ‘the space’ in which they have options.
No longer ‘powerless’, or totally stuck / immersed in the ‘story’ of what is unfolding /happening. They start to step back from their habitual reactivity – of doing what they always do when their buttons get pushed and BREATH.
In that moment, taking a single breath consciously creates spaciousness – enough space so they don’t ‘loose it’ (consciousness) and rage / explode / get upset or whatever is their pattern.
And then the power to CHOOSE or as another great man said to:

“Be the change they wish to see in the world” Ghandi

And we all get to make that choice – over and over again throughout our days…
How paradoxical to realise that someone who suffered such horror and injustice as Victor Frankl during his time in a concentration camp during the Holocaust should be the person to inspire us with his compassion – to advise us to stay with ourselves and dig deep in every situation.
Some more words of inspiration from a great man, Victor Frankl:

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. 

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.

This blog was written by Joanne O’Malley, Mindfulness at Work.

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