How Do We Just Do Mindfulness?

Last week we looked at mindfulness. What is it? How do we define it, simplify it, what are it’s benefits, and can we be more mindful? It can look quite complex from the outside.A baby girl and mom in the garden.

Mindfulness is not, however, some complex new age concept that is out there, unobtainable, or something you need to do a course to understand. It is always available to you each and every day. Mindfulness is so simple. You can just do it! You just have to turn up to your appointment with life (Thich Nhat Hanh, 2010)!

You were born mindful!

You were born mindful. Watch an infant for a few seconds and you will see they don’t think things through a lot. If they are hungry, wet or cold they are aware, they cry or indicate how they are feeling to us some how. They don’t think about it, rationalise, and then decide whether or not to discuss their needs. All the while missing the other moments that are unfolding. They just simply tell us and then go on living in the moment.

Watch an animal for a while. Recently I saw a documentary showing an adult baboon up close. I was struck by the mindful look it had on its face as it immersed itself in its surroundings. Not thinking just observing the moment.

Mindfulness is already a part of your life. It is simply living! And turning up for your appointment with life. It is experiencing life as it unfolds. The highs, the lows, and everything in between, without judging, rationalising or dramatising life.

Mindfulness is watching the movie of your life unfold without being tied to the conclusion. Allowing each and every moment just to be, perfect as it is.

Mindfulness is paying attention to our fears

Mindfulness is hearing that little voice of fear as we prepare for a public speaking event. “What if I forget what I planned to say?”

Mindfulness is hearing that little voice as we get ready for a first date. “What if he or she doesn’t like me?”

Mindfulness is hearing that little voice questioning whether we have got what it takes. “What if I’m a bad parent?” “What if I cannot meet my targets at work?”

And mindfulness is the knowing that just because this little voice is speaking loud and clear as our fears arise – it doesn’t mean we need to listen to those little voices and let them impact what we say or do next.

To the contrary – we all have those little voices. Each and every single one of us. It is what we do or not do about them that matters!

What distinguishes people who are happy, successful, and seem to have it all going on?

How do they live their lives despite the little voices of their fears?

The people who life to the fullest and fulfil their dreams may be those that mindfully attend to their little voices, sit with them, allow them, and then do whatever they want anyway. Knowing that the little voices are only a part of us, not all of us.

There is a great book on this – Susan Jeffers, Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway!

Mindfulness is paying attention to our joys

Allowing our whole body to feel the joy and gratitude during great celebrations of life – our weddings, birth of our children, our inductions, our graduations and awards, and for some of us the great joy of being alive today.

It is enjoying the moment as it unfolds rather than looking back on it later to realise how lucky we were when we were young, thin, rich, intelligent, confident, surrounded by our families and friends, and enjoying the richness of life.

Mindfulness is being open to the joy of moment-to-moment living as it unfolds, rather than waiting during these great moments for the tide to drag that joy back out to sea, only to be replaced by our fears.

Mindfulness – being alive, living, right here, right now

Mindfulness is simple. You can enjoy it each and every day.

Mindfulness in essence is waking up and noticing the colour of the sunrise. Is it the same as yesterday or more pink and orange, more intense?

Mindfulness is noticing that it is a few degrees colder than yesterday as you take your morning walk. It is noticing more dew on the ground, as your dog’s paws are more wet and muddy than the day before.

Mindfulness is tasting the food you eat. Is it bitter, sour, sweet, or salty?  Mindfulness is noticing whether your body is easily digesting your food or not, and reflecting on what may have caused the indigestion rather than taking a ant-acid and then eating the same food tomorrow!

Mindfulness is listening with every part of your body and mind when someone speaks to you. Noticing what is being said and how it is being said. Noticing the emotion behind what is said, and noticing what remains unsaid.

Of course mindfulness is also feeling and listening to your own breath, and others’ breath during moments of stillness or activity.

Mindfulness is simply noticing that you are here, alive, living, right now.

How do you find your own mindfulness?

Mindfulness happens during times of flow, or when the joy you experience during your favourite hobby takes you over and you are there, awake, turned on, switched on.

What happens to you when you are doing your favourite activity?

What happens to you when you are aiming at the hoop in the grand final of your basketball game?

What happens to you when you smell the coffee as you approach your favourite coffee shop?

What happens to you when you see or hear someone you love smile or laugh?

What happens to you when you visit your favourite place?

What happens to you when you taste the first mouthful of your favourite food after a few weeks or months on a diet?

This is mindfulness! It’s that easy! You’re already mindful – at least at times!

Engaging in, embracing, and sometimes enjoying and savouring moments in your life.

Waking Up

Are you awake to this moment? Or are you missing your appointment with life? Will you wake up only as you are nearing the end of your life and only then realise what is really important to you? Only then realise how many people cared about you, how blessed you were to live in the home you lived in, how blessed you were to eat, to shower and to sleep. We have so much to be grateful for when we slow down and wake up to what is around us all the time in each and every moment.


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