The Manliness of Mindfulness: How to Embrace Mindful Practices
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing attention thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can bring physical, psychological, and social benefits. Cultivating compassion builds an overall healthier perspective on the self and life. Men practice high levels of mindfulness but compassion may be removed from the equation. To have compassion means being vulnerable. When a man is vulnerable, they are more open to internal mindfulness and being attentive to their own and other’s inner worlds.
Mindfulness practices don’t come out of the blue, they have to be taught. The mind is a battlefield some days and, especially in recovery, it takes concentration, focus, and intentionality to get past the challenges of life. Meditation and mindfulness can be learned in the following ways:
- Pop culture: believe it or not, mindfulness can be taught by movies, television, and music. Finding the right media to show mindfulness meditation can lead to greater compassion for kids, who love media.
- Role models: when a child sees parents modeling the behavior, they are more likely to experience it for themselves. Role models in the community and extended family are also helpful in building emotional content for the person to integrate into their life. Research in neuroplasticity has shown consistent daily practice of any activity alters the brain structure of the person who practices. Over time, this builds a stronger mind in all parts of life.
- School life: training in school can help kids be more mindful. Mindfulness training can support inner-city school children, rural school children, high school, college and beyond. Working with people who have been incarcerated may also lower recidivism rates. The possibilities exist to help students learn how to be more mindful.
- Meet in the middle: good men with compassionate hearts who are vulnerable are all around. They are practicing mindfulness and teaching it to others. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those who have been doing this longer and ask for support in how to do this better.
Mindfulness can be more manly when people all over are willing to make it happen. Part of the struggle is encouraging men to lead others in mindfulness. Men tend to go deeper when not with other women so finding a group where they can share with each other is important. The discussion of how to involve men in mindfulness and compassion training begins with understanding the power of the mind to shift thinking and behavior. When men are in recovery, they can often find others who are working hard at building mindfulness practices and working to heal from addiction using mindfulness. This can be helpful for moving forward in a healthy way and by also realizing others are using it successfully to make recovery stronger.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.