Since the term mindfulness has gone mainstream, I am loving the dialogue that’s been created to encourage a culture of people to put it into practice. But I realized there is a lot of confusion over what it means.
In a convo with DH he mentioned it’s like transcendental meditation–for hippies or others looking to escape. He thought it was for a far-out kind of person…perhaps left over from the 70s. Or a replicate from the tune-in, drop out era.
This is so not the case. Mindfulness is the exact opposite of escape.
It’s about being present, and alert to the moment.
Here’s what else mindfulness DOESN’T mean:
1. You must make a huge commitment that fills up your already busy life.
Practicing mindfulness is a commitment… to yourself. If you have the time then an awesome way to kickstart your mindfulness practice is on retreat at a place like Omega or Kripalu. But if you can’t get away- you can start anytime and anywhere.
Like right now– can you feel your feet on the floor?
Fingers on the keyboard?
Yes??! You’re living mindfully!
2. You have to do yoga.
While I’m a huge advocate for practicing yoga- because anyone can do it (anywhere!) it’s not necessary to move through a sequence of sun salutations or inversions to be mindful. I have gotten mindful in Soulcycle, Core Fusion, and on the jogging path by the East River
In fact many athletes use mindfulness as a technique for better performance. Basketball coach Phil Jackson taught his players the zen philosophy- one breath one mind, to enhance mental stamina and focus. He wrote all about it in his book .
3. You have to ditch your wardrobe for a gold or red robe, and live like a monk.
As I previously wrote, mindfulness can happen anywhere at anytime. So to think you must leave your life to get started is completely untrue. It’s about making choices right now that are more aligned with who you really are so you can express your essence. Which means how you dress and act becomes a better reflection of your true self. So if a gold and red robe is your fancy by all means get it on! Otherwise, skip it.
The reality is that being mindful means to be present. And you can start right now:
Feel your feet on the floor.
Feel your fingertips on the keyboard.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
How do you practice mindfulness?
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Thank you for clarifying “this brand new concept of mindfulness”. I used the quotation marks for sarcasm because there really isn’t anything new, new age, weird or strange about mindfulness in my opinion. Though I am thrilled that the topic is “mainstream” today! I think it could mean being attentive, observant, and aware of somebody else’s needs of the moment. I am helping a friend through a serious health crisis. At first I was in advocacy mode…..”on it!!”, “getting things done with ACTION!” Through this journey I figured out that what she wanted was my full awareness of her – her words – that I sort of heard because my brain was thinking of the next step. I am grateful that I realized the need for my complete mindfulness in this chaotic situation. We can always improve our knowledge if we take our egos out of the mix and just be truly mindful.
Hi GGW, I do the same thing…problem solve by action which clearly isn’t always the best solution.
It’s great that you were able to fully tune in by attuning to your friends needs.
And I’m sorry you are dealing with a friend in a health crisis. ❤️?