I was just reading the other day about mindfulness and right away I started thinking about how long it has been since I rolled out my yoga mat and started questioning myself on whether I did my morning meditation today… or was that yesterday I missed it…?
The schedule seems busy lately and I can’t help but feel like that will continue for a while (which is a good thing!). I am finding myself having to be mindful of my… well mindfulness, so this is the topic of this month’s newsletter reflection. What exactly is mindfulness? It is definitely a buzz word in the world of energy, health & wellness but it is something that might not have specific meaning to you yet.
My kids and I were doing some schoolwork together a few weeks ago and one of them was working on some science vocabulary. He was stuck on what the word “observe” and what it meant. I offered an example to help him find some words and it went like this: Looking is like this ~ and I staired at the table top. Observing is like this ~ and I leaned in closer to the table top and adjusted my glasses and made a sound like “hmmmm”. “Oh” he said, “observing is looking and seeing and noticing all together!” Well yes, it is! It is not just looking and it is not just seeing and it is not just noticing. When I bring my thoughts to mindfulness, it is easy for my brain to bring me back to that discovery of what observing is. My definition of mindfulness, or being mindful, is more about breaking experiences down than it is bringing them together. It is a step-by-step observation of each sense and a peeling down of the actual absorption of information around each moment of time. How do my fingers feel on the key board right now? What does it sound like when I am typing? What emotion comes up as the writing shows up on the screen? Are their distractions on my desk that might be best to organize and put away? Is this energizing me or is this draining me? Mindfulness is asking questions of the experience and calling on senses like touch, smell, taste, sound and sight as well as emotions/feeling (like energizing, stimulating, awakening) to help ask the questions. Adding mindfulness to our day can be as simple as 5 minutes at the work desk, taking time to notice before you start the day, or breaking down what you are noticing while folding laundry or mowing the yard.
When we look at the parts of an experience with mindfulness, we are giving our body kudos for all the amazing work that it is doing in the background and appreciating what truly is happening around us. We tend to just notice the obvious or the stressful or the loudest parts of each moment. We notice what we are resonating with energetically. Mindfulness opens the door to the awareness that there are actually many things to choose from in our everyday environments and experiences. This then offers us the choice to decide what we want to carry forward into our next moments!
You can start being mindful right now. Here are some questions to work through slowly to direct your awareness ~
Are you sitting or are you standing? How does it feel to make that connection to the surface that is supporting you? Take in 2 full cycles of breaths in and out before you answer
Is your breath deep or shallow now you have been relecting for a few minutes?
How does the breath feel in your nose? Notice 2 full cycles of breath before you answer
In your throat?
In your chest?
Can you hear anything around you?
Are their any smells around you in this moment (pets, cooking, plants, candles, rain, cut grass, soap)?
Are you warm enough right now?
How do your clothes feel against your skin?
Is there light in the area around you?
Keep asking questions and pause for 2 cycles of breath before allowing an answer. You can also just allow yourself to continue noticing anything and everything one a time.
Take a slow deep breath in and out and close your eyes and be grateful for the time you just carved out of your day to attend to yourself
Wishing you endless Love & Gratitude!