What Mindfulness Means to Me
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.
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!
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‘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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I really enjoyed this article. I feel like my life is so hectic I have forgotten how to be more mindful. I am going to try to focus my attention on the moment a few times a day.
Thanks Sarah! You will be so glad you did 🙂
Very nice post! Ever since a health scare five years ago, I’ve been ensuring every day to appreciate the here and now. Just like you said, tomorrow is not guaranteed and the past is past so why worry about it.
It’s taken me way too long, but I have realized that worry really does get you nowhere! 🙂
I agree, mindfulness is so important for a happy and healthy life. As I was sitting here reading I ran through my 5 senses and noticed a few things I wouldn’t have done normally. Thanks for sharing 🙂
You are so welcome, Alison, thank you for reading! I’m glad you took the time to really tune in and enjoy it.
Mindfulness means everything to me as well. Whenever I get too caught up with the world or feel disconnected from myself, it’s mindfulness and journaling that bring me back. And last summer, it was mindfulness that helped to lessen my PTSD symptoms, panic attacks, and digestive problems. It’s more than just a practice, it’s a way of life I have to remember to stay aligned with.
Thanks so much for sharing, George, I love that you recognize the power mindfulness has to help you center yourself.
I am mindful of this lovely sunny day we are having in South Africa today,and blessed, with you there to remind us of how lucky we are to have someone like you, to guide us onto the path, that will give us a fuller life.
That is so kind, thank you so much! This is my hope, that I can remind people every day of the blessings of this life 🙂