Mindfulness. We hear this word all the time but do we really know what it means and how to achieve it. Yes, many can say it’s about being present in the moment. It sounds simple but actually it’s not that easy. With a mind that wanders from past to present and a monkey mind that can’t stop, it is rare that many of us can be present in the moment.
The definition of mindfulness by John Kabat-Zinn, founder of the
Center for Mindfulness at Boston University says,
“mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose,
in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
Mindfulness is an incredible tool to help people understand, tolerate, and deal with their emotions in a healthy way. It also helps us to alter our habitual responses by taking pause and choosing how we act. When we are mindful, we experience our life as we live it.
If you feel overwhelmed with your thoughts and emotions and you have a hard time relaxing and letting go then learning mindfulness skills will be helpful to bring more balance in your life. Starting every Monday I will be sending out an email with a “Mindfulness Exercise Challenge " to help you strengthen your awareness.
This weeks challenge October 12,2020 is “Pause”
This week exercise is to be aware of pauses in your daily life. You might notice that when you speak or when others speak there are pauses everywhere in the conversation, otherwise, it would just be just words without any meaning. Same as when listening to music. If there were no pauses between the notes, it would just be noise. There is a pause between our in and out breaths. Even walking there is a pause as you go from your right to your left leg. There are even pauses in our thinking.
Watch for the pauses in you day. As you notice the pause, take a breath and let yourself fall into that space of nothingness even if it's for a short while. It may not be something you do all day but even if it is several times a day you might be surprised at how calming this practice can be.
To remind you of this mindfulness exercise, write on a yellow stick- on the word "pause" and place it on your bathroom mirror or a note on your refrigerator or you can set a reminder on your phone. You may also want to jot things down in a journal as you may experience personal insights during this exercise.
The deeper meaning of this exercise: To become aware that all day long you have pauses (space) in your daily activities. It might feel like it’s go, go, go but the opportunity to pause, to breath, is available to us all the time. We just need to notice and pay attention. This exercise can slow down our thoughts, our words, and our actions thus making us more mindful in our daily activities.