Mindfulness means different things to different people. This is an insightful guide on what mindfulness means to me and how I use it in my everyday life.
First of all, let’s touch on something important. What is mindfulness? When you hear the word mindfulness, images of yoga poses, meditation, and chants might come to mind. While it’s all those things, it’s so much more than that!
Mindfulness is about living in the moment and breathing it in. It’s about being grounded, present, and aware.
One of the biggest things I learned about being mindful, is that it helps you become more self-aware. So many of us are just walking around in these meat suits, totally oblivious to the inner workings of what’s going on around us and deep within us.
From my vantage point, being mindful has made me more conscious and aware of the things I say and do. Before I began practicing, I would have a bad habit of putting my foot in my mouth. I’m a straight shooter by nature and sometimes, a lot of times, it would get me in trouble.
I’ve since learned that maybe there’s a time and place for my kind of honesty. It also made me aware that people often don’t want to hear the truth.
In my mind, I wasn’t doing anything wrong by speaking the truth. Afterall, that’s the way I prefer delivery of the truth. Plain spoken and blunt.
I soon came to realize that most people aren’t like me. This forced me to really take a hard look at myself. I had to learn to tread more lightly with others and deliver truth in a way that serves the greater good. That was a hard pill to swallow and that’s mindfulness, my friend!
Becoming more mindful, led me to even more insights. Mindfulness makes you want to be a better person. This is something we as humans should always be aiming for.
The more aware you are of your words and actions, the more likely you are to make changes. We should always be improving ourselves and being mindful helps with that.
It shows you what you need to change. It gets you to question yourself. Asking questions leads to answers.
For me, it was taking a hard look at myself and being aware of how my delivery of the truth affects others. Even when I mess up now, I always try to go back and fix it and make it right with the person whom I’ve offended.
This is something I definitely wouldn’t have done before. I didn’t even realize I was hurting anyone. If you don’t know you’re doing something wrong, how can you begin to fix it?
Mindfulness flows into other aspects of your life too. It doesn’t just stop there. Another insight I had was about food. Mindful eating is a real thing you should try!
I used to be one of those people that scarf down their food really fast. I didn’t make my meal last so I could enjoy it. Many of us live fast-paced, busy lives and not eating mindfully is a symptom of that.
Being mindful reminds us that we need to slow down and smell the roses and enjoy the journey a bit more. With mindful eating, that’s exactly what you’ll bring to the table.
That’s one of the reasons I like cooking and preparing meals at home. I turn the music on, dance in my kitchen, and relish in the enjoyment of preparing a meal. It helps me slow down and eagerly look forward to my food.
The way you eat your food can be mindful too. Chew your food slowly, focus on the meal, enjoy the burst of different flavors and cuisine.
It makes it easier for you to digest your food when you chew slowly. It gives you good food vibes to build a healthy relationship with food and eating.
What is mindful living? Well, let’s think about that for a minute. Mindful living is where you live in the moment and you practice things that keep you in the present.
Things like yoga, meditation, and being conscious and aware. Mindful living is kind of like nostalgia but capturing it in the moment.
Conjur up things you can do to be more mindful in your day to day life. Make a list and try to live from it.
Here are some of the things I do that make living more mindful. Some of these help me stay present and all of them are enjoyable. I think that’s key here.
- Photo shoots – especially photo shoots in nature. We often do these as a pair or as a family. In a pinch, upon reflection, I’ll do this on my own. On these little adventures, I focus on the flowers, trees, pinecones, and woodland creatures. Taking pictures helps me capture magical moments in time.
- Listening to Music – Music makes memories and evokes strong emotion. It’s a big part of most people’s lives, even if they don’t realize it. Music keeps you tethered in the enjoyment of the moment.
- Yoga – Yoga helps me focus on what I’m doing and how I’m breathing in the moment. It’s akin to getting a massage inside and out. I try to do it five days a week, for at least a half hour, but feel free to start small and build on it.
- Spend Time in Nature – I spend a lot of time in nature. Even if it’s just sitting on my porch with my morning cup of green tea. Nature makes you feel aware. Aware of the universe and all your surroundings.
- Gratitude – When I need to bring myself back to the present moment, I’ll write a gratitude list. I also try to use a daily gratitude ritual. This keeps me grounded and in alignment with the universe.
- Manifestations – We are manifesting new things on a daily basis, whether we are aware of it or not. Why not use the power of the law of attraction for good? When you don’t feel rooted in the moment, write out what you manifested that day. It will be sure to remind you of the beauty of the moment.
- Playfulness – Sometimes, in the middle of a show, I’ll stop what I’m doing to play and be silly with my daughter. I’ll remind myself that life is worth living and how important it is to bring fun and laughter into your life.
- Meditation – Nothing will bring you back to the moment more than meditation! Meditation is where you focus on a mantra, your breathing, or on an object to keep bringing yourself back to the moment. It’s followed by lots of good tingly feelings. Even as little as five minutes a day can make a huge difference. Also, duh, it’s good for your health!