You don’t need to live in Berkeley, California or Cambridge, Massachusetts for Mindfulness to be accessible or to be accepted as a viable tool for self-awareness. Mindfulness is for everyone at any age. We are seeing more and more young children practice Mindfulness. They are fortunate to learn the tools that will help them later in life. It is never too late to start; you can start practicing right now.
What is Mindfulness? Jon-Kabat-Zinn defines it as: “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
When you sit and bring your attention to your in-breath and then your out breath, your mind will drift, “I need to pick up groceries at the store.” When you have noticed this, acknowledge the thought and bring your attention back to your breath.
When you have acknowledged the thought and then brought your awareness back to your breath you have practiced mindfulness.
You can be mindful right here, right now. You don’t need to be sitting on a cushion with your eyes closed. You can practice Mindfulness while you are painting, cooking, or cleaning. All you are doing is paying attention to one thing only and that is what you are doing right now.
For example, you can practice while you are cleaning your house, cutting the lawn, or doing the dishes. As you are doing these activities, your mind will wander off thinking about many other things. When you realize that your mind has drifted off and you bring it back to only thinking about cleaning, cutting the lawn, or doing the dishes, that is being mindful.
How about right now? Pay full attention to 1 Breath. Take a deep breath in through your nose and watch it as it enters your body; now, slowly let the breath out through your mouth and watch it as it exits your body.
You just practiced mindful breathing.
Because our minds and bodies are over stimulated and we react. We are doing too many things at the same time and we are not paying attention to what is going on in our mind and body. Our nervous system is stimulated and it creates unpleasant symptoms such as anxiety. The only way to control those symptoms is to decrease the stimulation. Mindfulness will calm the nervous system down.
You will come to an awareness of many things about yourself when you practice. For example, the first thing you will realize is that your mind wanders much more than you might have thought.
Ask someone that practices about their experience with Mindfulness.
- Go to a local community workshop on Mindfulness.
- Watch a YouTube video by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
- Come by my office anytime, I would love to talk more about it with you.
- Start attending our LABBB Mind-Body group sessions.