Mindfulness is a way of being
Living mindfully is key to becoming your true self and living your best life.
Mindfulness is being aware of and focusing on what you are doing in the present moment, being in the here and now. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Kabat-Zinn (1994). He describes mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgementally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994. p.4).
It is all about focusing your attention directly on what is taking place or what you are doing right now in the present with all your senses. Keeping thoughts and distractions in the background.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness brings awareness allowing you to hear the inner wisdom of your body, to recognize the full spectrum of emotions, to be sensitive to what your own needs are and of those around you. It allows you to experience life with more feeling and passion bringing a sense of appreciation and wonder that cultivates inner peace and joy
Mindfulness helps us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help us to focus our attention, as well as to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgement, improve sleep, and to manage chronic pain.
When we increase our awareness in the present moment. we are able to be an active participate in our experience.
The present moment is the access point into stillness – into your deepest self – Being-at your fullest potential. It is the access point of connection to yourself and to your life. Stillness accesses the answers deep within you – Action moves you forward into life. It guides you to follow your true self-expression of your soul as you discover it in stillness.
Mindfulness can be applied to any and every activity you are doing. Mindfulness is paying attention to the task at hand – to what you are doing and thinking in the present moment. (Even if that is excavating the past or recalling a memory). Bring your full attention to each moment in each situation.
Mindfulness will be your access point to connect with yourself, listen and hear yourself. It can be applied to the process of knowing yourself, dismantling assumptions, letting go of attachments, and developing a broader perspective. Within you is the essence of everything you are. Being who you are is being present with yourself in the present moment. It is in being present in the moment that we live from our own deep inner core rather than from our roles, expectations, voices of others or what we have been taught or think we should do.
Mindfulness is a critical element of living from your true self – it brings awareness to hear the inner wisdom of your body, to recognize the full spectrum of emotions, to be sensitive to your own needs and of those around you. It allows you to experience life with more feeling and passion bringing a sense of appreciation and wonder that cultivates inner peace and joy.
Mindfulness alone – without doing anything else- can change your being and your life. Without it any and all of the following actions will not result in connecting with and living through your true self.
Mindful living will be the foundation of your day, your process, your life
Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness
- Pay attention. It’s hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.
- Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
- Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
- Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
Cultivating Mindfulness – Connecting with Nature
Being out in nature is the easiest way to cultivate mindfulness.
Find a place outside where you can sit and relax, on the beach, near a river or stream, the lake or in the woods or park. Bring a blanket or chair, some water and a notebook and pen. Choose your favorite place in nature that you love to go, that inspires you or makes you happy.
Using Your Senses to Bring You into Mindfulness
Get comfortable and relax. Take a look at your surroundings. What do you see? Take everything in around you. Do you see anything you hadn’t notice before or that is unusual?
Now close your eyes. Listen to what you hear. Concentrate on the sounds around you, concentrating on each one you hear one at a time. What do you hear? Do you hear anything unusual that you can’t identity?
Feel the wind on your face. Is it cold or warm? Is it a soft touch or hard touch? Can you feel the sun on your face?
Focus on your sense of smell. What scents do you smell? Are they pleasant scents? How many different scents can you identify?
Open Your Eyes
Take out your notebook. Write down everything you experienced in as much detail as you can. Then reflect on how each thing made you feel.
You can cultivate mindfulness throughout your day. All you have to do is be mindful of the activity you are doing. Focus on one activity at a time. Pay attention to each movement, action and thought.
Sprinkling in small moments of mindfulness can change your life- changing how you feel and how you see things, how you react to events, situations and circumstances improving your decision making and choices and improving your mood.
I have spent years cultivating mindfulness. Still every day I have times when I fall out of mindfulness. I am at a place now where I am aware when I fall out of mindfulness and know how to bring myself back. I recommend that you spend as much time as you need to integrate mindfulness into your daily life. Mindfulness is a way of being in the world.
The present moment is powerful. You must be present with yourself and present with your life. It is the only way to cultivate a true deep meaningful relationship with yourself.
A mindful life is lived from your core being, engaging in every moment and every aspect of yourself and living from your soul-your inner being-your authentic self.
In order to live from your authentic self and to live fully you have to be present with yourself and be present in your life.
Mindfulness is an important factor in well-being but I believe that mindfulness and mindful living is critical to being present to yourself and living an authentic life.
Cultivating Mindfulness Can Change Your Life