What it Means to Be More Mindful
Mindfulness is at the heart of everything I teach, both in my yoga classes and with my coaching clients. But what exactly does it mean to be more mindful?
Well, if you think about it, most of our lives are immersed in analyzing the past and planning for the future. Because of this, most of us don’t even notice what’s happening right now. I shared a little about my own experience with this in my yoga class this week. I was so “in my head” that I almost missed noticing a beautiful rainbow right in front of me!
Often, we just go through the motions in our daily life without fully experiencing it. However, if you want more happiness and success, it will help you to practice becoming more mindful.
Mindfulness can help you find gratitude for the little things in your life, address issues and people in your life that are toxic, and find ways to keep what works and get rid of what doesn’t with a sense of grace and acceptance. This path can lead us to better life acceptance as well as an ability to accept events for what they are in that moment. To learn more about the benefits of mindfulness, check out my recent blog post: Three Benefits of Mindfulness
You can practice mindfulness in your daily life by:
Fully Experiencing What is Happening Right Now
As you read this, are you also watching TV or listening to music, or trying to stop your cat from jumping on the kitchen table? Instead, try reading this and blocking everything else out. It’s only going to take about three minutes of your life to read this without interruption.
Letting Go of Expectations of What You Are Experiencing in the Present
If you have an important event to attend, it’s easy to allow expectations to rule the moment. You may even go into the situation with so many ideas of what you expect to happen that it ruins your actual experience. Instead, try to stay grounded so that you can truly feel what is happening.
Taking Pleasure in Every Task Each Moment
Even tasks like washing dishes can become pleasurable if you shift your perspective. This is a tough one, I know! Dishes used to be my least favorite chore (we don’t have a dishwasher), but it’s slowly become one of my favorites. You can enjoy the feel of the soft bubbles on your hands in the warm water, as well as the end result of doing that task by celebrating a mission accomplished.
Here’s the teaching that inspired my shift in perspective:
Experiencing the Flow of Creativity
When you are genuinely focused on the now, your mind is more likely to get into a flow state of creativity. That’s when you do something (even something hard), and barely notice time passing as you do it because you’re so fully immersed.
Not Judging the Experience, Just Experiencing It
One thing that gets in the way of being mindful is placing judgment on an event or experience. Next time you go to an event or even when you’re eating dinner focus only on the experience and not putting any type of judgment, good or bad, on the event. Remember, we call mindfulness a practice for a reason. Let go of any judgment around your experience.
Bringing Awareness to Everything You Do Every Day
Mindfulness can bring so much awareness to the things you do each day. If you usually eat without thought, think about it as you eat. If you normally multitask, stop. When you can do things with full awareness it’s always more enjoyable.
If you feel like your life is too rushed, find ways to bring yourself into the present so that you can fully experience what is happening right now. Stop thinking and start feeling. Feel the crisp and cool air on your skin as you walk out into a new winter day, smell the fragrant air when you go to the park, and enjoy breathing in and out right now.