There is a saying most of us have heard, “curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back.” Curiosity is one of the most valuable states of mind we can have. If we are curious we can be open to what is in the present moment. It’s when we get caught up in the past or the future that our emotions get hold of us and we ignore the present and therefore anything it may have to tell us.

When we wake up in the morning it’s likely curiosity that brings us to the pleasure or pain we plan to experience. Mostly our days are full of both pleasure and pain, as the saying goes, pain is going to happen, suffering is optional.

At bedtime we look over the day we’ve experienced and prepare for the next – unless we are inured to all of it with depressants in which I include the late night news. Studies show that those of us who take note of what we accomplished and how we feel about it are happier than those who don’t. Those of us who take stock of our progress through the years can take pleasure in knowing we’ve come further than we thought and/or perhaps need to get some help.

If “we are who we think we are,” as the Buddha is meant to have said, then we had better think ourselves into our most authentic life. In order for the person we are to show up, there needs to be stillness and attention on our part. The journey to each thought we take - even the ones that seem to come up on us suddenly – is where we can be our most effective gatekeeper to the life we want to lead.

The whole reason to meditate is not to become a better person or be smarter or wittier or more or less of anything. It is to know our mind and know what we want to let in and what we want to leave out. Discernment over judgement is what we look for. Remember Marcus Aurelius, “Nothing is either bad or good but thinking makes it so.” And looking at our thoughts will tell us all we need to know.

At first it is necessary to focus only on the breath. This practice helps us begin to regulate our thoughts because thoughts take us so quickly to emotion and then to action that we often have no clue how we got where we are. We feel suddenly rageful or jealous with no sense of what caused it. We slowly see as we meditate on the breath the lead up to the feeling where we find ourselves swamped.

This practice of meditation is not an end in itself, it leads us on the path to our authentic nature. Knowing our mind and its habits is the fastest way to changing what we are uncomfortable with in our lives. I have spent many years in daily meditation, on retreats several times a year, but that was not the point – I did not want to remove myself from the world, I want to invite myself into the world I want to be part of. I cannot change the world as it is, I cannot change you or anyone else, I can only change myself, help myself.

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us, “Even if I just clap my hands, the effect is everywhere, in the faraway galaxies.” He says that the simplest presence can touch the greatest distance. The smell of jasmine and rose, the touch of another being, the intention of any one of us can change all who feel it whether or not they notice.

When you let your mind be free of its ramblings, its insufficiencies, its notions of right and wrong, not only is there freedom for you, there is freedom for all. When you can let yourself be, just be. Hear what you are listening to, smell what there is to smell, taste and so on, you are free to be in the moment and see things as they are. Let a thing be a thing and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

With relief comes appreciation, curiosity and acceptance. There is nothing more or less that you need to live a full life. You can travel the world, stay home, win or lose everything and anything and if appreciation, curiosity and acceptance are with you, you will be free and if you are free you will be happy and if you are happy the whole world has just been able to take a breath.

Some discipline is required! It’s not easy to embark on this journey although it gets easier as you acquire the skills to see your thoughts before they become entrenched. When you can see them while they are still in the air of your mind, before they put down rugs and furniture along the pathways you’ve made, it is easier to shuffle them along. The discipline I’m speaking of is not harsh. As kind as you would be to your dearest friend, baby, puppy is how you treat your mind.

It took me rather a long time to see I was judging my self as I judged others, only worse. I gave more latitude to the person who cut me off in traffic than I did to my own actions. I noticed I gave more leeway to almost anybody who did just about anything to me. I didn’t respect a club who welcomed me as a member. I needed a “little help!”

I concentrated on my breath. I breathed in. My body calmed, I breathed out, nothing happened. I breathed in, my body calmed. I breathed out into the moment that was there for me, this moment. I am breathing in this moment, I know this is a good moment, I have my breath. I have this moment. Simple and profound.

I thought I had to make the moment. I thought so many things in my life wouldn’t be there without my effort. I know I have company when I say that I concentrated on any plane I was flying in as if I had something to do with the take-off and landing.

When I began to notice that I didn’t wake the sun, the day came as the day came. I did nothing for a beautiful day, for a day of rain, for cold or hot. It is just there and so am I. That is the measure of my life and it brings a smile to my lips more times than not. It doesn’t take care of what is going on in the world, but it takes care of me, what is going on in my mind. That’s enough for now.

Author's Bio: 

Is just being yourself enough?

Do you say something to get something? Do you want to be known or make a point? 

Pam White calls herself a "life-enhancing" coach because she spent years trying to make herself known before she knew herself. And Pam was stressed, tense and looking for a "fix" from someone else to tell her she was worthwhile, loveable and smart.

It wasn't until she appreciated who she was that she gave up being a caretaker and became a true friend.

Through the strategies and processes that Pam has come to know and practice - an important difference - she is able to be vulnerable, kind, honest and ask for help while taking responsibility for herself. 

Pam's goal in her life is to share this knowledge and way of being so that as many as possible will know freedom of mind and heart.

Come to her Website, leave her a message, she'd love to hear from you!