Mindfulness is a very simple concept that a lot of us have trouble practicing. It sounds simple, but sometimes it can be complicated. Mindfulness, sometimes called ‘being present,’ is a state of mind that we can achieve by being aware of the now. It’s quieting the chatter in our minds and opening up to what is going on around us.
I’ll share a personal experience of mine. Whenever I fall out of mindfulness or become ungrounded, I get lost easily. I’ll be driving to or from the grocery store and, during my drive, my mind will be somewhere else. I’ll be driving on auto-pilot. Something will happen, maybe the guy in front of me turns abruptly, and my attention will be drawn back. I have no idea where I am – none of my surroundings look familiar. I don’t remember any of them – how long have I been driving? Where am I? How did I get there? A moment later I’ll see something familiar and realize where I am. Normally, I haven’t driven off into the unknown and am just merely on my familiar route.
If you find yourself asking: When did my kids get so big? Where did the week go? When did the neighbors plant that tree? Where did my life go? Then it’s time for you to fully live your life instead of going through the motions. It’s time for you to be in the present and enjoy those precious moments.
The past is gone, the future isn’t here, there is only the present. There is only now. And when our minds aren’t in the now, if it’s working on our grocery list or already started on tomorrow’s workload, we are missing the wonders around us. In addition to missing out on these wonders, we also are out of alignment with the Universe and we’re more out of touch with the world.
When we’re out of touch with the world, we don’t see the signs or messages around us and we aren’t able to experience joy. We can be content or feel sentimental or even be excited and look forward to things, but it is only in the moment – only in the now – that we can experience joy.
Joy tells us what is good for us and what is bad for us. It connects us to the Universe. The world seems to be richer, more colorful, there are scents in the air, food tastes better and everyone is so much more unique. It’s a similar sensation to being “in the zone” – everything seems to just come into place, drop into line, and you can handle things quickly, easily, and without missing a beat. Imagine being in ‘the zone’ all the time! How magical would the world become?
Even though mindfulness is simple, it does take some practice. What we need to do in order to be more mindful is to redirect our thoughts and our attention. While you’re reading this, is your mind completely here or is part of your mind working on something else? If there’s something else going on, that’s okay – it’s normal. We just want to move away from that. So quiet that part of your mind – take a deep breath, in through your nose, fill up your belly, and exhale. Listen to that quiet moment – and it may only be a split second, but it’s there – right near the end of exhaling your breath. There’s a moment when things in your mind are completely still.
Try to stay in this space and then look around you. Just observe your environment. Are there birds chirping? Is there music playing? Does someone have the sniffles? What other sounds do you observe? How does your body feel? Are you tired? Are you heavy? Uncomfortable? Are you touching something (I know you are!)? What does it feel like? Is it hard, soft? Fuzzy, smooth? Look around yourself – can you find 5 blue objects? Did you know all of those were with you in this space?
To help increase overall mindfulness in your life, practice this exercise periodically throughout your day. You can start small and do it three times a day or perhaps set an alarm for every hour on the hour. But throughout your day, bring your attention back and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Go to that place of stillness at the end of your exhale, and just observe your environment.
The more you practice mindfulness, the easier it will become, and soon you’ll find yourself living your life in the Now more often than in the past or in the future.
You don’t want your life to be something that you look back on, you want it to be something that you experience going forward. You don’t want to miss what’s going on right now because Now is all that we truly have. You want to treasure the time you have with your family and friends, you don’t want to be missing precious moments because your mind is somewhere else. Every moment we have is invaluable and unique and the world around us is so amazing. You will find being mindful makes your life richer, fuller, balanced, and absolutely beautiful.
Live your life – be in the Now.
About The Author: FaeNathara began studying spirituality 25 years ago with her mother as her mentor. She is now a practiced shaman, pathfinder, photographer, counselor, coach, Intuitive, and student. The greatest joy that FaeNathara has is helping people find their path and she does this combining traditional coaching practices with her and her client’s Intuitive abilities. You can learn more about shamanism, including information about animal spirit guides, gemstones, herbs, and general spirituality, on her website at http://www.faenathara.com.