by Danielle Pride
The first step in mindfulness training is “To protect life, to decrease violence in oneself, in the family and in society.”
In order for me to follow the training, I would have to start looking at myself and others in a different light. I have never been a violent person. I have never purposely hurt someone physically or mentally. However, I am always hurting myself mentally, I am always bringing myself down. As someone who is actively working on bettering herself, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help myself and others who are struggling with the same problem.
First, I always leave myself little sticky notes of affirmations. Everywhere. On all of my mirrors, in my notebook, and I have one I keep on the top of my laptop. These are all the places I feel I can be the meanest to myself. Second, I don’t go on social media as often as I used to. Looking at everyone with seemingly “perfect” lives just made my mental health plummet.
The second mindfulness training is “to practice social justice, generosity, not stealing and not exploiting other living beings.” This specific training brings me back to Martin Luther King Jr. and the ‘60s. In this movement, he practiced a non-violent philosophy where he believed that we should all be the better person, and not stoop down to others’ views of violence and attack each other for their views. The reason this particular training is desirable to others is because of its pure morality. Everybody longs to be a social justice “warrior” in their lifetime and this training encourages that.
In order for me to follow this training, I would have to stand up for both myself and for others. I would have to learn to not let people walk all over me and choose what I believe in. I have always been told throughout my life what is right and wrong, and I think I need to figure out what I truly believe for myself.
The third mindfulness training is “the practice of responsible sexual behavior in order to protect individuals, couples, families and children.” This particular training is an interesting one, but I agree with it. It is basically advising against cheating against your significant other. In following this training, it is protecting heartbreak toward your significant other, children involved, and the person’s family who you cheated with. Sex is, in my opinion, a sacred and special thing. Don’t ruin it by wanting something “different.”
In my personal life, I currently have a boyfriend of almost two years. We have both been cheated on in past relationships, so at the beginning we made a promise to each other to not be the other’s next heartbreak. I have always thought that honesty is the best policy in any relationship.
The fourth mindfulness training is “the practice of deep listening and loving speech to restore communication and reconcile.” This training is so important in every relationship. Everybody wants to feel loved. Everybody wants to feel like they are heard. This training is simply advising us to slow down for a moment and listen to what we are saying. Don’t be afraid of going deeper than “how’s the weather outside?” type of conversations.
In my own life, I am known as the introvert. I am typically the person my friends go to when they just want to vent, and they know I will just sit there and actually listen to what they are talking about. I am the person they go to if they just want a sitting duck, or if they actually want good advice on the situation. I pride myself on this particular trait of mine. I think it’s a really good idea to practice.
The fifth mindfulness training is “to help us not bring toxins and poisons into our body or mind.” This training brings back my thoughts from the first training about toxic thoughts about our mind or body. This would be desirable to anyone looking to cleanse their mind and body. However, this might hit a little close to home for some others.
Like I said previously, I am actively trying to change my thinking in my life. However, the part about bringing toxins into our body is one to think about. Unfortunately during stressful times, I tend to eat junk food, things like Cheez-Its, Oreos, Ben & Jerry’s, etc. Although I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have junk food as a treat every once in a while, it can have serious repercussions on our bodies.
In conclusion, all of these mindfulness training techniques are supposed to work together. You can’t have one without the other, like the Ten Commandments in Christianity. Each training has a particular trait that can work for everyone, but you can’t ignore the other training’s when working on a singular one. They work together, like a well-oiled machine.