WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is a practice that brings us into the present moment by stilling the busy mind, and has been found to be a key element in happiness. We do this by being completely present and aware in each moment without making judgements or commentary from the mind. It's a fascinating practice, that is actually quite fun once you get the hang of it, because the benefits are so great!
This practice allows for more overall ease in our lives by improving both mental, emotional, and physical health. There are many techniques used to practice mindfulness. Breathing is central, and is an excellent tool we can use anytime, as it's always with us.
Have you ever felt as if your mind would never stop racing, and that you must be different than everyone else because there's no way their minds could be quite as busy as yours? After working with hundreds of students and clients, what I've found is -- you're not alone. We've all been there, and we've all suffered from racing thoughts of rehashing the past or jumping into the future. This habit actually causes a lot of dis-ease in our minds and bodies.
The good news is, that once we become aware of these habits, we can make a conscious choice to no longer participate with them. How do we do that? It's a practice.
Earlier, I mentioned breathing. Have you ever noticed during times when you may be under greater stress and the mind is extra busy, that your breathing was very shallow, or that you may not have even been breathing at all? I know I have.
We know that a busy mind affects our breath. So, the opposite must be true then, that our breath would affect the mind, right?
Try it! I invite you to take the deepest breath that you've taken all day right now. How did that feel? Just notice. Whether you feel something or nothing. There's no right answer here.
Just this simple practice of beginning to notice your experience, without judgement or labels from your mind, you've already begun the practice of mindfulness. Good job!
Through our practice of mindfulness, we cultivate the ability to become the neutral observer. This practice is likely very different than things you've practiced in the past. This is a practice to be received, rather than achieved.
Are you ready to receive?