Lessons in Mindfulness

Someone recently asked me about mindfulness and how I would define it. Here is a definition I liked from Mindful Living’s website:

“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises when you bring open-hearted, non-judgmental awareness to your experience.  Mindfulness practice includes mindfulness meditation, also known as insight or vipassana meditation, and the cultivation of open-hearted awareness of one’s present-moment experience. The principles of mindfulness are fundamental to many traditional meditative practices and are non-sectarian in nature.”

This week I have been practicing mindfulness during a few of my daily activities such as eating and driving. In the process, I have discovered that I have developed some little habits that prevent me from being in the moment.

Here are a few of the barriers that I’ve noticed:

  • I often feel rushed and am thinking about the next thing I need to get done.
  • I try to focus on too many big things instead of focusing on what is in front of me in the moment. (My friends tell me that is why I sometimes fall when I am running – because I start looking all around or get so caught up in a conversation that I forget to keep an eye out for potholes in the road).
  • I try to do several things at once, like reading and/or watching television while eating, often leaving me unsatisfied and unable to remember what I just did or ate.
  • I get so caught up watching what everyone else is doing I don’t pay attention to what’s going on with me.
  • I hyper focus on some external source of discomfort, such as the temperature of the room, where I am sitting, or pants that feel too tight.
  • I resist instead of just noticing memories that may be triggered from the sites, sounds, smells, or tastes that I am attempting to focus on.
  • I become obsessive instead of mindful.
  • I don’t practice in small increments. I am not at the point of being mindful in all my waking moments. Practicing a few seconds of mindfulness during various parts of the day is a good start.

This week I have made progress in small increments and am feeling a little more calm and peaceful.


6 thoughts on “Lessons in Mindfulness

  1. I wrote this about four weeks ago: “Nine years on, I still wait for the watershed that I believe is coming, that magical moment when I will be healed and whole. But it’s the hidden power of small choices, daily habits, and repeated actions that I make on a daily basis that are going to take me through to a new normal…A one-percent improvement isn’t note-worthy (or even noticeable). But it can be just as meaningful, especially in the long run, when you factor in the compounded effect of a thousand small adjustments and corrections. There is power in small wins and slow gains.” I am really enjoying your ‘mindfulness’ posts, they’re like a prompt/reminder for me ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • What you wrote is so powerful and sums up the process so well. As much as we would like to have that one big moment that changes everything, it is the small cumulative moments that slowly bring us healing. I am so glad you are enjoying the prompts. It helps me knowing someone else is on the same journey and I am thoroughly enjoying your posts as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All these points, Noticing is it. You’re on the home stretch ! Then keep noticing when you notice. This is how you will eventually break from the phrase that I borrow ‘curse of the generations’. Because once you calm, people around you will calm too. And the next generations. It really is Mind Your Own Business and all rest will take care of themselves. You will not even be a ‘survivor’. Because the point will become moot. So work hard in this aspect. You will reap the rewards as will the people around you. The more you calm naturally, the more it will be a natural aspect of you. It would not even any longer be ‘work’ ! And after getting the hang of it, it becomes fun too, and a very laughable matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: View from Sky walk Window | Shirley's Heaven

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