I took this photo yesterday while sitting quietly outside.
I thought ‘how did that particular ray of sunshine find its way through all the leaves and branches on the tree’?
And I wondered when mindfulness is talked about, do people understand what it is? So I thought I would do a brief rundown on mindfulness.
Mindfulness is being in the present moment where you are intentionally paying attention to your surrounds and inner world, with no judgement. Sounds easy right?
Well it can take practice, and then more practice. Our minds can be busy with the to do list, especially when we are trying to be in the present moment. When being mindful, you are aware of what is going on within you and around you, it is when present we have the power of choice, to choose to respond, otherwise, we may find ourselves reacting in old familiar but uncomfortable ways with little awareness as to why.
When we are stuck in our thoughts of the past and going over what we ‘should’ have done differently we are completely powerless to do anything about that situation and we are not aware of what is happening in our life at that moment, leaving us powerless.
When we are fixated on the future and getting to the next destination or worrying about something that may or may not happen, we can be left exhausted, and we are still powerless. And yet again, our lives are happening around us and to us. Both living in the past and the future can lead to symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
When we revisit the past from the present, we can reflect, learn and grow from our experiences. We all need goals to work towards so we know where we are going, but it is from the present that learning and growth are experienced and goals get set and achieved.
Jon Kabatt-Zinn in his book, Wherever you go there you are, suggests taking some time during the day to stop and become aware of your breathing.
It maybe for 5 breaths or 5 minutes, whichever works for you. As you do this, allow all that you are feeling and thinking to be, and then let them go and return to your breath.
This takes time, as our minds are used to being busy, but keep letting them go and returning to your breath and the present moment. I have set reminders on my phone to ‘breathe’ a few times during the day which helped to get me into the routine of mindfulness during the day.
Let me know how you go, next week I will add some more exercises to try.