What Mindfulness Means to Me

When your baby is born you count their fingers and toes.  You stare at their perfection for hours on end.  Lying under the unexplainable weight of a sleeping 3mnth old you enjoy that feeling of sinking beneath the trust and love that they embody.  We become fully tuned in to that new presence, that new life.  A pure, mindful moment.

There is something magical in that time when they are so small, so vulnerable, and so pure.  When I think about what mindfulness means to me, this is what it is.  Being so present in the moment and experiencing it so fully that you feel overcome with love and emotions.  This is the reward of mindfulness.  Like a warm embrace it brings comfort and a sense of belonging.

Mindfulness Connects you to your Source

Being mindful is a way to feel connected to God.  In that moment it’s almost like you have shifted your frequency to tune in to that presence.  Shifting that frequency opens you up to experiencing life in an entirely different way.  It’s about recognizing the brilliance of this life;  like when you rub a seashell between your fingers, rubbing sand from its ridges, smelling the salt water.

Being mindful is being truly alive in the moment.  Feeling like you belong, like you are in the presence of something greater than you.  This is how tuning into life through mindfulness can make you feel.  Knowing you are more than a seemingly insignificant life form.  Understanding that you are a soul having a human experience.  Watching it play out like characters on a stage, applauding every small and perfect moment.  Feeling God’s presence in every blade of grass or butterfly’s wing.

Mindfulness and Gratitude

For me mindfulness is the embodiment of gratitude.  It is savouring a cup of tea or marveling at a beautiful sunset.  This is gratitude, is it not?  How often do you look right past a tree brilliant with Autumn leaves or drown out the sound of birdsong with your latest YouTube video?  If you take the time to look around you for opportunities to be mindful, you will see that they are everywhere! 

I often have to catch myself, drifting off into ‘the scroll’ while my child is cuddling on my lap!  Or even reading a book, which is way more mindful than social media, and then realizing the birds are singing outside and I’ve been oblivious to it.  When you stop for a moment you can enjoy the birdsong, enjoy the cuddles!  And, gratitude for these experiences come naturally from there.

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Ways to be Mindful

It is easy and natural, when your children are small, to be mindful.  But, what about when they are bigger, when life gets busy and you get distracted?  How do we find our way back to that connection, that beautiful peace?  We need to approach it from a more conscious perspective.  We make a clear decision to re-connect.  We understand the urgency in changing our frequency.  Take the time to tune into mindfulness.

There are a thousand opportunities in every day to be mindful.  Do you remember when you were a teenager in love, picking petals off a flower one at a time?  ‘He loves me, he loves me not.’  You were tuned in, waiting with bated breath for that life changing answer.  You were mindful of the significance of this moment.  Take yourself back to that feeling, that focus on what is before you.  It can be applied to anything, at any time.  Sipping coffee, massaging shampoo into your hair, feeling the sun on your shoulders or the softness of a blanket.  Look for these opportunities all around you.

Mindfulness means to Focus on the Now

In other words letting go, for just a moment, any thoughts of yesterday or tomorrow (or even half an hour from now).  Focusing fully on the now.  We live alongside those that we love without paying much attention, but when we stop and look into their eyes our worlds change.  We feel the connection that we long for what is within our reach at any time but is so often taken for granted.  Think about the opportunities we are losing for genuine connection in EVERY day because we are not mindful of our lives and the people in them.

Tomorrow is not promised.  This is known by everyone but we don’t let it sink in!  Your life is NOW!  Sit still for a moment, wherever you are and contemplate this.  Look around you.  What are you grateful for?  Don’t just rattle off a list in a hurry to move on to the next thing, really think about it.  Look at the room you are sitting in, the roof over your head.  Look at the clothes you are wearing, the pictures on the wall.  Be grateful.  Acknowledge your blessings.  I believe if we make a conscious effort to be aware of our blessings it can change our entire perspective of our lives towards one of gratitude and, ultimately, happiness.

Tips for Mindfulness

A great way to tune in to a mindful state is the method of using all your senses to experience your environment.  Going through the senses you notice what you see, feel, hear, smell and taste.  This is a great way to guide yourself towards mindfulness.  It is a very effective way of realizing the experiences that you take for granted.  When you focus intently on this practice you will realize how much of your life’s experiences are slipping by without the full pleasure that you could be enjoying from the moment.  Really think about it when you do this exercise!

From my experience all that’s required is to be still and focus all your attention on the moment.  It’s a bit like putting your phone down when you go out for dinner and taking your partners hand across the table.  When you look at each other the world disappears for a while, you become absorbed by the presence of the other person.  Try using this laser focus on other things in your life!

So, to me, Mindfulness Means:

Everything!  It is the connection, the appreciation, the joy!  Mindfulness is pure enjoyment in this life.  When our days are limited we need to learn to live this life in the most authentic and joyful way possible.  Learning to be mindful is a little like living life as a walking meditation.  It brings calm, acceptance, joy and understanding of this life.  Don’t underestimate mindfulness, it can bring you so many beautiful experiences!

‘Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.’  – Jon Kabat Zin

If you enjoyed this blog, head over and read Top 10 Meditation Tips for Beginners

Looking to get into some Mindfulness reading?  Check out the selection available at The Book Depository

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