Mindfulness Practice is form of Meditation. You hear a lot about meditation these days and you would like to give it a try but somehow it feels like a challenge. It seems impossible to stop the chatter in your head. To tame your ‘monkey mind’. You are far too energetic to sit in meditation and maybe you don’t consider yourself spiritual. Sounds familiar?
However, you hear about the many benefits of meditation and you would like to have a peek into this world. But how to begin when you feel like ‘sitting still for hours’ is a waste of time? How to meditate without sitting in meditation?
Well here is the good news: You don’t actually need to spend hours sitting in silence, watching your breath. Let the traditional method aside for now and take baby steps. Slow down a notch and start to PRACTICE MINDFULNESS.
Meditation has many different forms
Meditation can be anything. Most people understand meditation to be a form of controlling the mind, through concentration – traditionally in directing the focus on the breath.
Another form is guided meditation. You focus on the speaker. We find countless recordings on the internet nowadays. I find them quite good for beginners, as your only ‘job’ is to remain in a comfortable position and listen. Guided meditation can be helpful to approach the meditation practice of Mindful Awareness.
There is a growing need to counterbalance the rapidity of life in a technology age, with the overload of stimulus, the quick rhythm, our constant availability and responsiveness via smartphones and social platforms. BEING PRESENT IN THE MOMENT is the answer. Mindfulness is gaining on importance, so that life doesn’t slip us through the fingers. Multitasking is out. The opposite now is true – doing one thing at a time.
Mindfulness as a form of meditation
Mindfulness means concentration on one activity. Experiencing it fully. Being ‘there’. Noticing. Feeling.
Mindful awareness means also a non judgmental acceptance of the experience. Not attaching any particular meaning to the occurring. Slowing down and observing. Watching your mind and your body. Observing how it feels to walk, to brush your teeth, to peel an orange…
Mindfulness is really awesome for quitting the mind. Guess what happens if you physically slow down? Well, your mind slows down too. Allowing the body and mind to rest.
Positive effects of mindfulness practice
We all know meditation has many benefits for body, mind and soul. Physically and mentaly you can only gain from it. Without going into details and just to name a few: Stress reduction, release from depression, anxiety, insomnia. An improved memory and learning skills. Better immunity and health. More empathy! Emotional regulation: We gradually gain control of our thoughts and emotions and we respond differently to stressors.
Adapting a mindful living is life-enhancing. It cultivates peace and happiness, without external changes. You will find Minimalism appealing because everything and every moment will be so ‘rich’ that you won’t find yourself ‘needing more’.
Remember, there are no ordinary moments. Every moment is a gift. Through mindfulness we can take every moment to its fullest. Cherish it. Relish it.
How to be mindful?
The golden rule is – I repeat – one thing at a time! Be there. Fully! Life is not a to-do list. It’s meant to be enjoyed! The aim is to be in the zone. In flow. In a state where you ‘forget yourself’ in the process of doing something. You are completely dedicated to the task you are performing.
It’s a very simple method that can be easily adapted into a daily routine. In the beginning it might not come naturally but if you practice I’m sure you find liking in it, as it is quite playful. Over time mindfulness becomes your second nature.
By performing simple daily tasks with your mind focused on them, you will get a sensation of intensity and richness, even though you are not doing anything ‘special’. Even cleaning can be done mindfully. What happens is, it will transform into FUN. Yes, no kidding. It is actually true, what they say, that staying present in the given moment releases happiness.
For me personally such a blissful moment usually occurs when I paint. But not only… Below I’d like to share with you some simple mindful practices that work for me, hoping that you find something that inspires you to try it out yourself .
Is mindfulness for everyone?
You may wonder if Mindfulness is something for you? I assure you, everyone can do it!
I’m actually NOT a quiet person. I’m lively and chatty. An extrovert. An energetic bundle. A Marketer, a NetWorker. Living intensely, traveling 90% of my time. Moving often. Constantly meeting new people and exposing myself to new adventures.
Over the years I got addressed with comments like having Red Bull in my blood, not needing a plane to fly and engaging stones into a conversation. I was called ‘talking machine’ and ‘miss chatterbox’. ‘Bubbly personality’ being my figurehead. Well, you get the idea..
But who actually knows me better, or looks deeper, sees the other ME. The hedonist, the easteth, the beauty lover, the foodie, the artistic soul. One who likes to relish the ambience, the surroundings, the tastes, the views… (I actually often catch myself visually tracing the lines and forms of an object that pleases my eye. Just a small quirkiness, LOL).
I guess my spiritual journey started early in my life. There was a school excursion to a monastery when I was 16. We stayed for a few days and I remember how moved I was with the fire & music meditation. That was probably the kick-off to my mindfulness practice, but you know what? I was not aware of if back then. What I’m saying is: If I can be mindful, you can too!
Adapting a mindful state of mind
Loyal to the polish expression ‘śpiesz się powoli’ (lit. hurry up slowly), I always had this ‘bipolarity’. Being a hedonistic bon vivant and a high-flyer at the same time. Always saw the little things and enjoyed the pauses between the craziness and the speed of my intense lifestyle.
However, for a long time I actually didn’t know it had a name. A decade ago there was not much awareness about the Mindfulness Practice. So I am speaking out of experience here, when I tell you that I discovered it myself at one point in my life – read here about my Anapanasati experience during a Silent Retreat in a Buddhist Meditation Center in Thailand.
I congratulated myself for ‘already doing it’ without knowing it (which proves that our Higher Self is wiser than the conscious self). Keen on learning more and diving deeper, the process of adapting a mindful living then came naturally and gradually to me. Believe me, the mindful state of mind is not a guest but a friend for life. Once you find it, it sticks with you. In a nice way : )
Mindful introspective- knowing yourself & your needs
With time and age I find myself seeking more calm between activities, balancing out socialising with solo nature walks. Making every time spent with a dear person being a quality time but at the same time taking the liberty to decline a video-chat if I need some ME-time. Setting more boundaries. Walking away from things and people that don’t suit me (any longer).
In times like now, where life stands still, it is even more important to find happiness in little things. Savouring every piece you read, every song you hear, every moment with your dear ones. Life’s too short to allow ourselves not to live it to the FULLEST!
We can have both: Wings and routes (being mindful and an active person at the same time). Slowing down from time to time doesn’t mean being passive. On the contrary, it gives you more energy and power to continue. To take off again after the break.
Get inspired by my ULTIMATE 15 STEP BEGINNERS GUIDE TO DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE.