- The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
- A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness – it’s one of the most simple ideas yet a difficult one to master – why?
Imagine a leaf; see the shades of colour, the different textures and tiny veins running through it. Would you have normally seen all of this detail, or just a leaf? In this moment you have been mindful of the leaf and its beauty.
Now, imagine for a moment the task of facing your deepest fear or sadness, or reflect on how it would feel to bring your attention to some kind of extreme pain in your body. It is much more difficult to bring mindfulness to a form of suffering, isn’t it? Mindfulness takes practice especially when not every moment or feeling is pleasant.
Keep it simple
To boost your inspiration and self-belief, you can start practicing mindfulness by focusing on the little things. You can start by being more present to your body. When you wake in the morning, notice the natural warmth of your body and the sound of your breath. Be mindful of the sensations on your fingertips as you pick up your morning coffee or the taste and warmth as you take your first sip.
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Practice Mindful Walking
Mindful walking or walking meditation is walking without a purpose or intention. It purely means taking a walk while being aware of each step and of your own breath. It can be practiced anywhere and anytime, whether you are enjoying time alone in nature or in a crowded street. You can even fit in mindful breathing and walking in between business meetings or in the supermarket.
Mindful walking allows us to be aware of the pleasure of walking and to be grateful for our ability to take each step. Keep your steps slow, relaxed and calm. Focus on being in the present moment there is no rush, no destination, and no hurry. Mindful walking can help to bring you into the now and alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Be Patient with your Practice.
Like most new things, mindfulness will take some time to develop. Be patient with yourself, and don’t worry if you don’t perfect it straight away. At first you’ll notice subtle changes like feeling more connected to your breath and a greater feeling of ‘aliveness.’
At first you may find it challenging to concentrate and your mind may wander but after some time you’ll notice your ability improve. You’ll notice longer periods of focus and clarity and stillness of your mind.
Remember, mindfulness is just like working out. The more often you practice, the stronger your ability will become. Eventually mindfulness will no longer be an exercise, it will become more like a way of life. When you master Mindfulness it will be a powerful tool for feeling more peace and joy.
Written by Roy McDonald
At OneLife we are a community of likeminded individuals, a family committed to empowering one another to be all that we can be. We honour and celebrate one another’s unique gifts and talents and all undertake the OneLife Mission