Five Key Elements To Mindful Awareness

Being productive is wonderful. Being responsible is important. Doing is a part of life. But how often do we take time out to just be ourselves? 

Most people love lists. We make lists and then check off the boxes. Checking boxes feels satisfying. By doing so we confirm something deep within us. Many people make a to-do list as one of their first steps in the morning. One woman I know puts all the difficult to do items at the top of the list and the easy ones at the bottom. When I asked why, she informed me that she had more energy to tackle the tough things early, feeling that by the end of the day she deserved a “reward” by checking off a few of the simpler tasks with relative ease. 

Okay. For you list lovers out there, here’s one for you: 

Judge Less: Learn to observe yourself and others without judgement. 

Accept More: Experience life more fully by learning to accept the things beyond your control.

Be Present: Let go of the past and the future. Watch in awe as each moment unfolds.

Be Patient: Know that you are on your path. Others are on theirs. Find freedom and joy in that knowledge. 

Trust Yourself: Believe in your intuition and your feelings. Be confident that maintaining your integrity, although difficult at times, produces beautiful outcomes. 

Summary: Do more good and avoid what is bad. Simple but true.

Tim Carl, PhD, is a long-term advocate and practitioner of meditation and mindful awareness practice. He has studied science at Harvard, has been a business consultant at McKinsey & Co., and co-founded Knights Bridge Winery. Presently he lives and writes in Calistoga with his wife, dog and cat. His two children have left the house for college and are pursuing their own paths. He can be followed @tim_carl on Twitter or emailed directly at

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