Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mindfulness Made Easy


Have you heard about this? Mindfulness, being "PRESENT", focused on NOW, conscious.

It is a concept, habit, WAY OF LIFE, that I have been trying to make more and more a part of my life for several years. It's about enjoying EACH MOMENT. ACCEPTING whatever comes your way, not wanting 'right now' to be more or less of whatever it is.

It can apply to many areas of your life.

  • Patiently waiting for a green light when you are stopped.
  • Doing one thing at a time.
  • Noticing the many sounds and sights around you.
  • Really taking time to notice pain, hunger, thirst, cold, heat, wind, sun.
  • Acting with intention as much as possible (rather than being lost on 'autopilot').

Here are 3 specific EXAMPLES in my life:

EATING

  • Taste each bite in your mouth.
  • Take time to chew.
  • Take breaks between bites.
  • Not reading, watching, driving while eating.
  • Taste, feel, smell, see your food, even hear the crunch!
  • Eat a meal or snack without one sense (close your eyes) to heighten your other senses. You may find you eat less than usual, feeling satisfied sooner having really taken in all the sensory input of your food.

My sweet kindergartner said tonight, as she was slowly eating her single Starburst on the way to her swimming lesson, "I want to put 'SAVORING CANDY' or 'SAVORING CHOCOLATE CHIPS' on the Internet, so people can learn about it!" If nothing else, I am thrilled to have passed this on to her! I haven't even mastered the skill as well as her, AND I don’t think she will ever have to face an addiction to sweets, sugar, or carbs!





RUNNING/EXERCISING

You can run forever, taking ONE step at a time! Just think about what you are doing in this single moment, and you can do ANYTHING!

PARENTING

Take time to just BE with your kids, besides taking care of them, dressing, feeding, cleaning, teaching, and disciplining them.
Play with them, whatever they want to do, ACCEPT their ideas and plans, without doing anything else... no talking on the phone, checking email, folding laundry.
They really respond to this in an awesome way! They feel your LOVE and ATTENTION.

I love the following suggestion from my Kindergartner's religion book (God is Love by the Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, OH), which actually got the idea from another book (Raising Faith-Filled Kids by Tom McGrath):

“Here is a trick to help you increase your awareness. The next time you and your child are doing something as simple as picking up toys..., imagine yourself many years in the future looking back at this moment. From this vantage point, what seems important about this current moment? It probably isn’t the orderliness of the family room as much as it is the time spent with this precious child at this time in his or her life.

Life in a family can be busy and demanding. It’s also a time of miracles. Make it your spiritual goal to find ways to be mindful so that the busy-ness and demands don’t make you miss the miracles.”

Doing this more and more = more and more HAPPINESS, SATISFACTION, PEACE, AND CONTENTMENT in your life :)

The following are books that I love which I thought of right away when I considered my daughter’s lesson. Each discusses this concept from a slightly different angle and each is easy to understand and easy to apply. GREAT READS!

A New Earth by Eckart Tolle
Everyday Blessings: the Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn
Flow in Sports: the Keys to Optimal Experiences and Performances by Susan Jackson and Mihaly Csikszentmihaly
How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky
Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean (this one is a great one for teaching children all about mindfulness in a fun way!)

WHAT DO YOU THINK? TELL ME IN A COMMENT: Do you ever go on autopilot? Do you have any tricks to keep you alert and aware of the world around you?

1 comment:

Colleen Grossner said...

Also check out "Compassion Matters" an informative article in Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201303/benefits-mindfulness

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...