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As a Spiritual Healer, I regularly practice meditation for focus and wellbeing. Mindfulness is taking this a step further. It’s paying attention to the present moment and learning to just ‘be’. This means becoming aware of all the small things that are happening to us right now within our mind, our body and our soul, and how we feel on a physical and emotional level. In our busy lives, it’s easy to rush headlong into our everyday tasks without paying attention to ourselves, or indeed to our loved ones. When we ignore what is going on within us and around us, we can miss the important messages. What are our bodies trying to tell us? What is the chatter in our mind trying to say? We should take a moment to listen. When we are mindful, we are more likely to pick up on the physical sensations and emotions that otherwise we would ignore, or perhaps we have been pushing to the back of our thoughts to deal with later. This is not being mindful and is not helpful to us at all. Mindfulness is stillness, taking a breath, stopping to smell the roses (I actually do this!), noticing colours, smells, textures around you. If I take a walk, I am aware of everything – how the breeze moves the trees, how the river flows, the sound of birds, there are unlimited ways in which you can be mindful. Take time to be appreciative of everything. Actively give thanks for the good things in your life, and you will find your outlook will become more positive.
Mindfulness works by bringing us into a state of mind where we can see and feel more clearly. It may take some practice at first, but even in small bursts, we can feel the benefits. By taking time to meditate or just slow down, breathe and take note of the present moment, we can alleviate anxiety or stress.
In my opinion, mindfulness can help everybody. If the whole population would be mindful of themselves and others, and of our beautiful planet, things would be very peaceful indeed I think! But on an individual basis, mindfulness will help us to bring ourselves back into balance. When we realise and can deal with what is going on inside us, we are then better able to cope with the physical problems and begin to heal. As a Healer, I often find that after a few sessions the client has already begun to change aspects of their lives for the greater good, often because they have been given the chance to relax during the session and focus on their thoughts – to be mindful.
I read recently, and have found this to be good advice, that if we are mindful of every little thing we do, then we may appreciate the moment more. For example, doing the dishes, not a job I have ever enjoyed, but I have started to give my full attention to the task so that I am able to find satisfaction in a job well done. Sounds silly I know, but you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes. Try appreciating your morning shower, enjoy the sensation of the water on your skin, and the feeling of being cleansed. When you prepare and eat food, be mindful of the textures, colours, smells and especially the taste – savour every mouthful! Take a walk with no particular destination in mind. Don’t give yourself a time limit. Be aware and appreciate being in nature. It is so beneficial for your mind, body and soul. Look up at the stars at night. Find beauty in the moon. How the sun feels on your face or the rain for that matter!
Be mindful of other people, I love to say good morning and exchange a smile with strangers and friends alike. You never know whose spirits you may have lifted and the knock-on effect it will have. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the whole world smiled at each other?
To bring mindfulness into the workplace, you need to be present in your thinking. Often at work, we try to multitask which is not productive. Single-tasking is acceptable. Bring your focus to one job at a time, giving it your full attention. If your mind wanders to other things that you need to be doing, bring your thoughts back to what you are presently trying to achieve. Obviously at work, we do not have time to sit for long periods and meditate, so at regular intervals (and perhaps set an alarm on your phone for this), stop, take a deep breath and take note of how you feel – what is going on within you and around you? Stand up, stretch, or pop outside for a breath of fresh air. This brings you back into the present moment and rebalances your mind to continue with the task at hand.
Meditation goes a long way in helping you on the road to mindfulness as it teaches you to relax and to concentrate on your thoughts and feelings, both mentally and physically. It enables us to acknowledge what’s happening with us, then with practice to let these feelings go whilst taking note of your breath and always bringing your focus back to your breathing when thoughts creep back in. There are no rules to mindfulness, it is about finding your own way to stay in the present and ground yourself.
Thank you so much Jo, I have learned a lot about mindfulness, how to stay present, and I am definitely going to implement these tools into my life. I hope this inspires you all into your own journey to mindfulness.
Are you finding life more and more stressful? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.