Mindful Living  -  Centered Moment 

3 Mindful Living Points that can Coax an “Aha! Moment”
By: Lindsay Leimbach

Mindful Living can foster a magical “Aha! Moment”. An “Aha! Moment” is a sudden burst of knowledge that has been far from your reach just moments before. When that “Aha” or “Eureka Moment” happens, it can feel as if you have walked through a door that has just changed your whole perspective on a situation. And this is exactly what has happened. Your brain has awakened to new cognitive connections that have liberated your thinking and brought rich awareness to your consciousness.  An “Aha! Moment” can be allusive; however, there are 3 Mindful Living techniques that can coax the moment into your grasp.

Meditation – Allow your conscious mind time to unwind. Roland Griffiths, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University, states meditation is “the best approach we know of ” allowing the mind to relax and have the ability to make a surge of insight wisdom. One does not power through an “Aha! Moment” with strain and determination. Thinking and more thinking does not generate that moment of brilliance that we are pursuing. The quick flash of energy is actually the subconscious mind surging a new perspective to the conscious mind. The conscious mind is more likely to recognize the gift of brilliance that the subconscious mind has sent it, if the conscious mind is in a calm state. To access this calming effect, start with a 5 minute breathing mediation. Allow the strain of thinking to diminish.  Hold a single focus such as your breath. Your breath is always with you. Therefore, meditation focusing on your breath is easy to embrace when it is time to let go of the stress of over thinking in the mind.

Notice when you have a spark- Your subconscious mind is continually sending messages as sparks to your conscious mind. These sparks of insight are formulated from all your accumulated experiences and previously learned information. The spark often feels like a fleeting idea or a hunch. Sparks arise rapidly and our conscious mind decides if it should act upon this new information or let it go. If you do not take notice and then take action, the new thought will leave our mind in seconds. When you say to yourself “I had a great idea but I lost it”, you realize you had a spark to an “Aha! Moment”. Since one does not want to lose these sparks, the key is to recognize when you are having a spark. Quickly writing down the thought, phrase, word or diagram is crucial to capturing the insight. It is essential to hold on to the spark and bring it to the forefront of your thinking before it evades you. Initially, do not try to articulate the spark to others. Allow it to develop in its own time. Mindful Living is having the ability to notice that a spark is happening in the present moment and act upon it and to be able to consciously decide when a thought has positive value or is just a fleeting thought that should evaporate in the wind. Remember that a spark is your entire cumulative subconscious mind whispering to you. These sparks need to be acknowledged and brought into the conscious mind to allow them to become a roaring idea. Don’t worry if the spark does not become the “Aha! Moment” right away. You are fanning the flame for the future brilliance to come forth. Notice and take action with your spark and let it grow.

Plan a Situational Awareness Time S.A.T. – Mindful Living is having the skill to live in the present moment. This may sound easy but it is actually not. Western culture often prides itself on multi-tasking, fast stimulating technology, and instant gratification. All these things often suffocate an “Aha! Moment” of brilliance. If the mind’s goal is to complete multiple tasks, follow flashing images, or find an immediate solution the mind will have great difficulty recognizing its own independent thinking. The mind will not be able to make new associations between previously unconnected concepts. It will search for solutions in repetitive patterns that have roadblocks and dated thinking.  When an “Aha! Moment” occurs it often feels as if someone else has placed the concept in your mind. That someone is your own subconscious mind. When you have an “Aha! Moment” you are able to be the observer to your own thinking. You can actually hear yourself think. You are able to be an observer to your own brilliance.

Situational Awareness Time, S.A.T., is a chosen quiet time to relax and allow your mind to ponder the mysterious questions that have been eluding you. It is time to let go of the worries of the day and be in the present moment.  This is a prearranged time, set aside, with the intention to have insightful positive problem solving awareness. S.A.T. is not a time of deliberate or methodical thinking; it is time to have fluid thinking without a preconceived goal. During S.A.T., the mind is not to accomplish a designated task. It is free to flow and flutter with creative and positive thoughts without judgment or a prescribed outcome.  This time can foster thinking that allows new associations between previously unconnected concepts in the subconscious mind. First thing in the morning, even before you leave your bed, can be perfect time. Lie there and allow your thoughts to flow and dance. Watch them as you would watch water flow downstream. Allow your thinking to take its own course with the guideline that this time is for creative pondering, not negative ruminating. The intention is to have freedom of thought. If your mind becomes unproductive in negativity that does not serve the greater good, or lost in mundane thoughts about things that need to be done, gently guide your mind back to the intention that you are having open creative time to have positive insight. S.A.T. can also happen while exercising, showering, or sitting quietly for a designated time. Anytime your mind can rest from a structured task or goal and can feel undisturbed from the outside world, is a perfect time for S.A.T. and to coax an “Aha! Moment”.