Frustrating Mindfulness Practice? How To Use Curiosity to Find Your Calm | ulrikasullivan.com

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Frustrating Mindfulness Practice? How To Use Curiosity to Find Your Calm

Are you an ambitious, driven, task oriented busy woman?

OK, then you may have the natural tendency to relate to mindfulness practice as a task and strategic plan.

Do you want to learn how to use curiosity to step out of the task-oriented mindset and start using your curiosity instead?

Meditation program to peek your curiosity? Join here!

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Do you relate to mindfulness practice with tasks, with lists, and days mapped out for when meditations and mindfulness exercises are to happen?

And by following the well thought out plan you may think the self development is done?

Checking off that on the list! Boom!

Does this sound like you?

Well, the truth is that for most tangible things that needs to get done a plan is the way to go.

But, when it comes to mindfulness practice no plan in the world can make you grow your self awareness inside, unless you actually experience it and make the journey the  offers on the inside.

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Have you thought of that mindfulness practice (where meditation is an essential part) is where you practice developing skills to connect with your higher self and to become more self aware?

You may feel mindfulness is a chore right now, something that you have to DO to advance and get better at it.

It doesn’t have to be like that…

If you relate to mindfulness practice as a task and a plan, it’s a sign of an external, task-oriented way of relating to it.

For example, as long as you meditate once or twice a day, you feel you’re all set. Just to have it done.

Approaching mindfulness practice with curiosity is an internal exploration journey.

While you may meditate once or twice a day, the goal here is to notice the change in yourself. And that is on no timeline.

You may feel quite unproductive relating to mindfulness and meditation that way. No timeline!? No tangible goal?!

With mindfulness practice, there is no start or end, no finished task, no accomplishment.

You know, the change I am talking about here is when you feel something is DIFFERENT in how you relate to yourself and people around you.

When you notice that self reflection has become a natural part of your life and no longer have the urge to check off that you have meditated twice a day as an accomplishment.

In my opinion, mindfulness practice is completely about internal experiences, not how OFTEN you meditate, or for how LONG.

Mindfulness practice is when your internal experiences connect you closer to who you truly are, your true self.

This inner experience can’t be measured or compared.

Your internal experiences you experience through mindfulness practice elevate the way you relate to yourself and others.

Most importantly, your internal experience changes how you think and therefore ultimately your decisions.

Hard to plan that out!

It was not until I really got back to meditation for the second time around that an internal change happened for me.

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Things really started to change personally for me when I allowed myself to practice self reflection through journaling and by using good old curiosity.

Whenever you’re going through personal self development you will hit resistance.

Resistance is how you know that you have something to work on. When you feel like “I really don’t want to go there”, that’s when you bring out curiosity.

Be curious and ask yourself “What does this resistance mean?”

For me, being curious about WHY  I felt a certain way and what I needed in the moment often was on the topic of work-life balance.

It was so easy for me to just keep going pushing forward at work, adding to the to-do list, organizing and immersing myself in the work tasks, the follow-ups and preparing for upcoming meetings.

I didn’t want to ask myself “What do I need?” because I was afraid that would destroy my plan.

As I got curious about examining situations where I knew I had a choice, but went with the good old habit of pushing ahead, instead of stopping myself in an instant to make a different choice made a total difference.

One of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, says in one of my favorite books “Big Magic”:

Take a break! Don’t worry about following your passion for a while.

Just follow your curiosity instead. It might lead you to your passion or it might not.

You might get nothing out of it at all except a beautiful, long life where all you did was follow your gorgeous curiosity.

And that should be enough too.”

So, include the beautiful world of curiosity in your mindfulness practice!

Especially when you’re coming up on resistance, feeling like you want to quit whatever you are trying to change, and you may find just what you need…

…by being curious!

Curiosity allows you to get soft with yourself instead of pushing a solution right away.

Allowing curiosity to flow while you are coming up on uncomfortable feelings keeps the options open.

Curiosity has this smiley face associated with it. A child-like vibe that is one of exploring instead of the thought of boxing in.

You can ask yourself:

How do I want to react?

Do I need to react at all?

What do I need?

Curiosity keeps you positive. You are learning something about yourself. Not criticizing or judging.

At the center of self development is the lesson that there is no right and wrong, only opportunity.

You can ask yourself:

What can I learn about myself today?

How would a mindful response sound?

What are my options?

What do I need?

Keep asking yourself questions. Get curious. Listen for the answer. This is mindfulness practice.

It has been said that you are the most creative when your mind is focused and relaxed.

This is what many artists are experiencing when they are in the flow, creating straight from their true self expression.

Others experience breakthroughs during meditation and then they get curious about their experience.

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If you want to step away from the structured, step-by-step way of relating into a field of possibility, expand your view and let go of the planned path. Get curious! Especially when you feel resistance to something.

Consider self reflection and journaling after meditation will bring that curiosity to life and often new ideas and new ways to relate to others and situations come out of applying curiosity.

So many options and possibilities are emerging.

For today, decide to try a new way of adding a layer of creativity to your already structured task based plan for the week.

Identify something that you feel resistance thinking about doing this week.

Now, take a moment to meditate on this feeling of resistance.

Furthermore, have you thought of what is it about it that’s so hard? What would you like to know that you don’t know? Things that you are curious about?

What is the possibility? Any lessons that can you learn from this situation?

Think about what your options are? How can you make a different choice about this?

Finally, if you have a plan that has been created without curiosity you may feel stressed about it, if you layer on the practice of curiosity, you will release your pre-set laser focused plan to the opportunity.

And by doing so you may feel calm about it.

What is your biggest insight about yourself and your mindfulness practice this week?

Related: 7 Tips to Create Instant Well-being on a Really Busy Day!

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