There are three states of mind that I’m cultivating these days; appreciation, meditation, and relaxation. I find that no matter what I’m doing, being in one of these states of mind is the most beneficial to my well-being. They’re also a way for me to practice the ABC’s (align, balance, center).
Appreciation is the key to wisdom, and wisdom is the result of appreciation. There’s a creative feedback loop that occurs when you appreciate things. The more you appreciate, the more there is to appreciate, ad infinitum. Appreciation is essential for me to break out of old, limiting beliefs and patterns. Whatever I’m doing, however I’m feeling, when I start appreciating the beauty, detail, and nuance of what I’m experiencing, I gain wisdom from it, and ultimately freedom.
Meditation can be practiced all the time by being mindful. For me, realizing that I have an observer self has helped me tremendously over the years. I know that I have thoughts and emotions, but I’m not my thoughts and emotions, and this knowing can only come from meditation. It allows you to detach from your identifications and projections. Sometimes I’ll sit down and meditate, but usually I practice mindfulness in whatever I’m doing.
Relaxation is, ironically enough, the most challenging of the three states of mind for me to get into. I used to be a lot more relaxed when I was younger. I’m realizing that the signal for me to relax is whenever I think I have to do something. The sense of urgency is a conditioned response, and the way out of that is to just let go and relax. In some ways, this is the most spiritual state of mind for me to be in, because the only way I can let go of something is to have faith that my True Self is always there to guide me.