I’ve been practicing “mind fullness” all my life. I don’t know if it’s all the practice, or natural talent, but I’m a whiz at it. I can multi-task, multi-think and multi-stress with the best of them. What I’m not good at is “mindfulness.”
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware and present in the here and now without judgment. It is the focus of the mind on one thing at a time and fully experiencing it for what it is.
Mindfulness meditation is not meant to clear your mind of thought. Instead, thoughts are observed without judgment. In 8 Minute Meditation, Quiet your Mind. Change Your Life, (Amazon associates link) “allow, allow, allow” is the first rule of meditation. Once you allow any thought that arises to arise, it’s inevitable that your focus will hook onto a thought or two. That’s when you “catch and release.” Like a fly fisher hooking a fish and returning it to the stream, you simply release the thought and go back to observing. It’s not easy, but that’s why they call it a practice.
Everyday life mindfulness is simply focusing awareness on whatever you are doing at the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in the shower trying to remember if I washed my hair yet or not. Obviously, I was on automatic pilot and my brain was focused on something other than what I was doing. By witnessing our thoughts, emotions and actions as they happen, we calm ourselves and bring our stress level down. It’s better for my psyche to enjoy the warm water and peace of the shower, than to focus on to-do lists.
And what does mindfulness have to do with happiness? I just read a great post by fellow blogger, Terri Wingham, about how “Sometimes the Journey IS the Reward.” If we can be in the moment and realize that the moment is enough, therein lies our happiness.As I find inspirational quotes helpful to focusing on what is important, I’ll share a few of my favorite mindfulness quotes:
“We too should make ourselves empty, that the great soul of the universe may fill us with its breath.” Lawrence Binyon
“Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain.” Eckhart Tolle
“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” Buddha
“The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” Julia Cameron
“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep; yes, and when I walk alone in a beautiful orchard, if my thoughts drift to far-off matters for some part of the time for some other part I lead them back again to the walk, the orchard, to the sweetness of this solitude, to myself.” Montaigne
Are you struggling with “mind fullness” over mindfulness? How do you get yourself to stop and focus on the here and now?
Survival > Existence,
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