You should sit in meditation for 10 minutes a day, unless you are too busy, then you should sit for one hour. – Old Zen Adage
We have all heard that mindfulness is good for us, but how do we not only learn how to do it, but find the time to actually put it into practice when we are all so busy and can barely find the time to do all the things we have to do?
Ironically, this is when we need it most. Taking the time or making time to be mindful, to be in the moment and not running at a hundred miles per hour, letting our minds and our bodies enjoy the moment is the kindest thing we can do for ourselves.
The mind is like water; when it is turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear. – Prasad Mahesv
We let so much of life go by without noticing it.
The great thing is we don’t have to stop what we are doing to be mindful; we just have to focus on the one thing we are doing at any given time. Whilst mindfulness is a form of meditation, it does not need for you to be sitting in the lotus position to get the benefits.
We can be mindful whilst doing anything, as long as we’re not trying to do everything (at the same time)!
Life is full of beauty, notice it. Notice the bubble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces, smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. – Ashley Smith
Mindfulness is simply being in the moment:
· If you are eating your dinner, then enjoy every mouthful, savour every taste.
· If you are walking, listen to the sounds of the birds, the children playing, the dogs barking or even the sounds of the traffic. Feel the sun on your face and the breeze on your hair…
· If you are at work, hear the chatter, the keyboards tapping away, see the colours in your chart, hear the chatter of the customers, take in the aromas of the food cooking, whatever job you do, use all five senses to witness the wonderfulness of your environment.
Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively. – Sharon Salzberg
Whatever it is that you are doing, you can it do mindfully. And believe it or not, doing each task you have to do, mindfully, whether it be work, pleasure, leisure or some other activity, not only makes it more pleasurable, you will do a better job of it, and as you are completing the tasks without your mind wandering you may well find you have MORE time to yourself to do MORE things you want to do, things you enjoy doing (like reading this blog for instance :)
The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of the mental wellness. – Abraham Maslow
Taking the time to be mindful helps to de-fuzz our minds and allows us to put our focus where we want it to be. A cluttered mind serves no-one. Mindfulness is a way of meditating without stopping your daily activities. Living in each moment, paying attention to each moment, being fully present in each moment will bring more joy to your life and will help you to prioritise what is really important to you.
The calm and balanced mind is the strong and great mind; the hurried and agitated mind is the weak one. – Wallace D. Wattles
Have you ever been driving somewhere familiar and realised that you don’t remember part of the journey? I have done this on way too many occasions. My head is busy thinking about other things and I suddenly become aware of where I am, and that I don’t remember anything of the last 5 mins of my journey, I freak out a little as I know there were traffic lights back there, and I can’t remember checking to see if they were green! If it’s that easy to drift off into your mind and not be fully present whilst doing something as hazardous like driving a vehicle just think how many times we must be doing that in less dangerous tasks and situations.
How many times have you missed a special moment with your loved one, your children or even your pet, because whilst that special moment was happening your mind was thinking about the email your forgot to send or the report that’s due tomorrow? Sadly, it’s happened to every single one of us. Those moments missed – gone forever.
When your children are playing and laughing, how amazing would it be to be in the moment like them – with them. How special could it be to think about nothing else but to be in this moment?
The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. – William Morris
Its so easy to get so caught up in things that have happened or so busy anticipating what’s going to happen that we completely miss out on what is happening… being mindful in any situation, whether its work or pleasure makes that moment count, and every moment should count as it is each and every moment that makes us who we are. Every encounter we have in life shapes us and moulds us for the future which is why it’s so important for us to experience these moments fully.
Forget yesterday - it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow - you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift - today. - Steve Maraboli
The hardest thing with being mindful is getting your mind to forget about everything else it has to worry about, be it things past or things future, this is where a few deep, clear breaths can work wonders. There is nothing so instant to help you to refocus than to take a few deep breaths, feeling the breath on the intake and then slowly letting it leave your body. Do this a few times and you will find your ability to focus on what’s really happening right now, at this precise moment a lot easier.
Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. - Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness helps us to process the moment, the feelings we have about the moment, our emotions and to see the situation from a clearer point of view. Our mind can process and evaluate it better, making the joy of the moment more enhanced and the problems of the situation easier to solve. Looking at things calmly allows our brains to concentrate on the solution rather than the problem.
A chaotic mind sees only the problem at hand and finds more problems before looking for a solution. A calm mind evaluates the problem and looks for solutions, making the whole process easier.
Looking at the beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind. – Amit Ray
This world of ours, is a beautiful place, filled with innumerable wonders for us to discover and experience. So many of us miss so much of it, we owe it to ourselves to enjoy it, to fully experience it, to live it, in the moment, every moment. But for now, if you don’t already practice mindfulness try making a conscious effort to be mindful at least once a day.
Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it. – Sharon Salzburg
My favouite way to practice mindfulness is to go for a mindfulness walk. Start by switching off your phone and go for a walk, it can be anywhere, around the park, on the beach, down the high street, you could even do it on the way to work – from the train station or the carpark. Listen to the sounds, see the colours, smell the aromas, feel the sun, the breeze, or even the rain. Use as many senses as you can to take in this moment, this walk.
One of the first times I tried this I was walking in an old residential area in a coastal town in Western Australia on a Sunday afternoon. It was very hilly yet I hardly noticed how much effort the walk took as I was engrossed in all that was going on around me, there were dogs playfully barking, children laughing, BBQ's cooking, hose pipes watering gardens, trees blowing in the breeze, bee’s buzzing, birds chirping, galahs squawking, there were red flowers, yellow flowers, orange flowers, bushes and shrubs, cars driving past, a lorry reversing in the distance… the list goes on and on. I came home refreshed and rejuvenated, I had so much energy and enthusiasm to do things, to get out there in the world and really start to live. I make it a point to do this mindful walk at least once a week now, it helps me refocus, put my priorities in order and energises me to act upon them.
In a world of doing, doing, doing, it’s important to take a moment to just breathe, to just be.
Let me know your favourite mindfulness activity, comment below