Mindfulness has become the catch phrase that is used by celebrities and affluent members of our society. So what exactly is mindfulness? My simple definition of mindfulness is being still. In 2008, I discovered meditation and the art of finding my quiet space. This literally changed my life. I learned to view pain, conflict, anger, happiness and abundance in a very different way. I no longer was trapped by a situation or circumstance I now understood that every act was here to teach me and to take me higher if I allowed it.
Mindful mediation is the tool that I use to stay mindful and fully awake in my life. But over the years, I have learned that there are many practices that lead to mindfulness. Having a daily spiritual practice is vital to living mindful. Being mindful doesn’t mean that life will not happen but it does mean that you will be more capable of handling it.
So you say well how do I adopt this mindfulness living? Some people find peace in meditation, prayer, walking, stillness or performing Yoga. The biggest key to discovering your restorative place is to notice and pay attention to which act resonates with you most.
Here are 7 keys to finding your mindful practice.
- Take time each day to sit in stillness and allow yourself the freedom to just be. For many people this will take practice as you may be accustomed to hitting the floor running. No equipment necessary just 10-15 minutes will get you started. Allow yourself to slow down and just breathe.
- Get grounded in gratitude. Gratitude is the ultimate spiritual practice. When we take time to reflect on what we are grateful for it is difficult to be angry, sad or worried. Each day write 5 things you are grateful for that day. This practice will allow you to stay present to your current joys.
- Turn your electronics off. Simply shutting down your electronics for a day or one hour before you go to bed will give you a since of peace. You will notice that your busy mind will begin to settle down and you will actually notice the good that is happening in your life.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. Ever notice how we take on the mood of those around us. Over time this can really get you down if you have friends or associates who are complainers, worriers, or always have some issue.
- Follow your breathe. Throughout the day allow yourself to fall into being in the moment. While having dinner with your family. Work to be present with them and allow your to do list for what is next to slip away. When you notice you are thinking outside of the moment take a few deep breathes and allow yourself to mentally return to your family. Practicing this will guide you in being more present in your everyday life.
- Forgive yourself daily. No one is perfect and we often make mistakes. Each day forgive yourself for offenses you may have made. Learning to let go of your past and embrace your present moment is key to living mindfully.
- Authentically yours. We live in a world where we constantly are bombarded with messages that we need more to be complete. We are told that in order to be successful we must acquire certain things or live a certain way. However, being authentic is living in a way that reflects your values. It takes courage to be authentic but it is an awarding way to exist.
Living mindfully allows us to truly live and appreciate all that life has to offer. Today embrace your love one a little longer, slowing eat your lunch as you relish over the flavors in your mouth and get lost in a good book. Taking time to enjoy what God has blessed you with will enrich your life.
BMWK: How do you live mindfully?