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Mindfulness is a thing a lot of people are talking about lately. So what exactly IS “Mindfulness?”
Mindful.org gives the following definition:
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
I know, it seems pretty basic and generic…but when you really take a moment to sit down and think about it, it’s NOT basic. It’s not generic AT ALL. We’re talking about living in the present. Being aware. Fully appreciating every second of every day and really, it all boils down to LIVING IN THE MOMENT.
I came to a point in 2016 when I was just – well, I was running. I was running away from my feelings of abandonment resulting from my divorce. I was running away from “my old life,” running away from the illness my daughter was enduring, I was just RUNNING. I didn’t know who I was, what I was doing, so I just avoided it all together. The came a time when I sat down and took a good, hard look at my life, and I knew that I needed a change. A change for the better. I needed to find my center, my peace, my purpose in life.
It’s almost impossible when you’re doing everything in your power to keep so busy that you don’t have to deal with “real life.”
So I made a change. I began seeking help from a nearby spiritual center, and working with a spiritual advisor. A Reiki healer. I began investing in crystals meant to soothe my soul, learning how to work with the New Moon and Full Moon to deal with my demons and ensure that I was following the right path. I began meditating.
I didn’t know it then, but what I was doing – well, it was the early stages of the Mindfulness movement. I did a lot of work on my own, then began enlisting the help of friends I’d made who were on the same path as I.
Along the way, oddly enough, I began receiving books in the mail from various publishers who really struck a chord with me – I am showing a few of them below. These are books that I didn’t request, were never pitched to me – they just showed up. I took it as a sign from the Universe that I was on the right path and these are essentially guidebooks…
A Few Things About Mindfulness
Every Single Person Can Do It! Practicing Mindfulness doesn’t mean you have to give up your religion, go to crazy classes or even sign up for a mailing list.
Mindfulness is a Way of Life. When we practice Mindfulness, we become more aware and caring about everything in our lives…it isn’t a mere meditation session. It permeates every fiber of our being – once we get the hang of it!
Mindfulness Improves our Lives. Science and experience demonstrate benefits for our health, happiness, work, and even our relationships.
Mindfulness Aids in Creativity. Once we slow down and become more present in our everyday lives, our minds become more clear and focused, allowing us to become more creative. This is especially important in fields like mine, where I MUST be creative in order to be successful!
3 Ways to Practice Mindfulness in Your Everyday Life
- Set aside 10 minutes each morning to center yourself. I like to take the dogs outside and just relax when I first wake up. I just enjoy the sounds of the birds chirping, and if I wake up early enough, I watch the sunrise over the fence in my back yard.
- Be present in the moment. Whenever you’re feeling some kind of way…just go with the flow! Feeling sad? That’s okay. Take a few minutes to think about WHY you’re sad and what you can do to change your mood. Feeling happy? Good! Embrace that happiness! The point is, just take a moment to feel your feelings.
- Mediate. I listen to meditation music, chakra balancing music and just sit and let myself BE. When I first began mediating, I had such a hard time because my mind runs a mile a minute and I thought I was just doing it all wrong…the music really helps me focus. I also concentrate solely on my breathing. I breathe in for 7 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds and then breathe out slowly for 8 seconds. Focusing on the breathing really helps me because my mind has no room to wander while I’m counting…if you have an issue meditating, it’s okay! Once you catch yourself wandering, just bring yourself back into your breathing!
These books that I’ve received recently, they’re all about living a better life, and they’ve helped me immensely as I’ve begun to focus myself. They’re not exactly about Mindfulness, but they are about living your best life possible – which goes hand in hand with practicing Mindfulness.
Applying design thinking to work and life is a burgeoning trend, and Life by Design is a journal that functions as a practical workbook to help readers apply the principles of life design to their own decision-making. From career to love to extracurricular pursuits, this book helps readers figure out how to innovate and iterate their way to a well-lived life. Each spread offers a list prompt that encourages readers to think about where they are and where they want to go, and offers life design advice related to the prompt. By completing one list per week, the readers will be able to map out a clear plan to achieve the happiness they deserve.
Fill your days with beauty, track your life, and doodle your way to a nicer day with Bullet It! Dotted grids, handwritten fonts, and fun doodle tutorials make this more than just an organizing notebook. It’s an artistic keepsake for your life. And perforated pages make it easy to remove your favorite pages and display them in your home.
Most women today are frantic, lost in an endless cycle of busyness caused by constant pressure to perform up to unrealistic expectations of perfection, many of which are self-imposed. This journal cuts to the heart of the problem by showing women how to reconnect with their inner selves through solitude, introspection, and contemplation of what’s truly important to them as individuals and family members. Give yourself permission to be Present, Not Perfect.
If you’d like to learn more about practicing Mindfulness, check out Mindful.org! It’s been a great help to me!