Have you been paying attention? I mean REALLY paying attention.
MINDFULNESS is a practice of living in the present moment; becoming a witness or a keen observer of thoughts, of situations and of feelings without having to engage, judge or react. A lot of our time is spent swanning around in autopilot mode – constantly switched on and living life in our heads – whether it be planning for the future, living in the past or just generally over thinking about a myriad of trivial, irrelevant thoughts – and generally being MINDLESS about what we are doing and what is going on at any given moment. By constantly living in our heads, we’re ignoring our bodies, and often times the precious moments that are taking place around us.
Mindfulness practice is not a new concept, in fact it’s been around for centuries; it forms part of the Buddha’s original text on how to meditate, so up until the last few decades it’s largely been attached to Buddhist and other spiritual practices.
But you don’t need to be a living in a cave or be a Zen monk to be mindful. The practice of mindfulness can be extracted entirely from any attachment to religion or spirituality and over time easily become part of a daily routine.
Yoga and mindfulness are inextricably linked – both begin with the breath. By becoming aware of our breath, we’re able to cultivate a steady awareness of its natural ebb and flow. Awareness of breath encourages feelings of calm and positivity; it serves to remind of us of the preciousness and transient nature of each and every moment. Once we become aware of the breath, we can start to apply Mindfulness to other aspects of our lives.
Start small…it’s more about quality than quantity and little by little, you’ll begin to discover that this simple practice of awareness can be applied to every thing we do…we can start to be mindful of how we walk, how we eat, how we react, and how we interact.
Essentially, it’s a practice of acknowledging our own unique feelings and thoughts – both pleasant and unpleasant. It has the potential to be both empowering and centering, so that we can live more fully in all that we do.
So those things we thought were so ‘little’ become the moments that make up our daily lives.