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A Life Worth Living by Jason D. Mitchell

Mindfulness. Everything in life is worth examining. 
Our ability to look at the world that we live in, including ourselves, has allowed humanity to evolve and transform both the world that we live in and ourselves. While we can, and should, debate the benefits of some of the choices we’ve made, what is absolutely true is the gift that this is for each of us individually. You do not have to wait on anyone else to tell you about your life. Whether we are in a physical prison, following the orders of prison guards, going through a PhD program completing assignments or working out with a personal trainer none of the individuals or organizations dictate what is happening within us.

Socrates is given credit for the quote, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” When this quote was introduced to me it immediately resonated and rooted itself in my consciousness. As I grew in my commitment to spiritual study the practice of mindfulness was introduced to me through the writings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He has said, “that mindfulness is the capacity to be aware of what is going on, of what is there.” The more I practice mindfulness the more I’ve found the connections between being present and examining my own life. Our lives are the sum total of our thoughts and actions. As I am more present with my thoughts – about life, about people, about my choices, about my journey – I am able to bring a greater awareness into my choices. Rev Michael Bernard Beckwith teaches that, “choice is a product of awareness.” We can only make choices about those things that we are aware of. Sometimes we appear to be making choices when we’re really just running the default programming of our mind. 

Whether you give yourself to the practice of mindfulness, or another spiritual technology, it is essential for your growth, development and spiritual unfoldment that you increase your awareness of your own thoughts. Whether it is while you’re in a prison cell, taking an exam, having a conversation with your beloved or sitting at home alone; your awareness of your thoughts is key. You cannot change your life, or your experience of the world that we live in until, through awareness, you recognize the patterns. Once you’ve realized how you’ve been thinking you can elevate your thoughts, establish habits that are beneficial to your well being and step into a life worth living. 

Thich Nhat Hanh – What is Mindfulness

Joy As Your Life

Jason smiling 2JOY AS YOUR LIFE by Jason D. Mitchell.

Why would anyone ever choose to be sad? It’s such an unpleasant experience. Why would anyone choose to be depressed or angry? These experiences aren’t exactly filled with smiles and laughter. Yes, we all experience sadness, depression and anger at some point. Some people are even known for being angry while others must wrestle with stereotypes when they have a moment of upset and express it. Honestly I don’t believe it is quite this simple. People don’t choose these types of feelings or states of being like toppings on a sandwich, “extra tomatoes and cayenne please.” However when we are dealing with our emotions one practice we can take on is joy.

Joy is not an emotion. This an important note because it is actually a Divine Quality. Joy, is among the spiritual qualities like abundance, harmony, balance, oneness that describe both creation and The Creator. Joy is not subjective like happiness is. Joy exists as a constant within our heart and while our emotions may cloud it, joy can still be experienced in the fog of anger or depression. Joy is that which we experience when we find ourselves deeply sad over the passing of a loved one yet sort of smiling on the inside as we remember them. Joy transcends our emotional states and gives us access to the eternal Reality where the all good of God is known and experienced.

There’s a lot more to joy than we give our attention to and far too often it is confused with happiness, which is based on happenings. Today, I invite you to look within your heart see if you can find that place of joy which exists regardless of circumstances. Find that joy that vibrates within you even when you find yourself missing someone. Find that joy that reminds you that just because a relationship has ended doesn’t mean that it is the end of the goodness that is your life. Tap into that space and place within your consciousness that always seeks to shine, radiate and even celebrate Life itself.  This is the Truth about you. This is who you really are. You are not the transitory, conditional states of being that appear and disappear depending upon mood and circumstance.  No!  You are absolute joy! So much so that yes, you’ll have moments of anger and sadness but you are joy as manifest reality and those moments will not last.  Oh yes joy cometh in the morning…in the afternoon and the evening.  Joy IS, always, in all ways, as your very life!

Can you sense it?

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