Mindfulness is a state of being that allows one to both connect with and be present with self and the environment around them. It is a way of being centered or grounded and connected.
Think of mindfulness as a moment by moment connection to thoughts, feelings, perceptions, senses, and outside stimuli. This concept may sound stimulating but it is actually the opposite. Mindfulness allows us to detach from judgement or conditional thinking. It is more like becoming an observer; an observer of self and the things and experiences around us.
Mindfulness can be experienced in many ways. One way is through meditation. Meditation allows the stream of consciousness to flow and float on by as the observer (You), silently watches or listens. This is a fine example of mindfulness.
Another easy way to practice mindfulness is when walking. Purposely experience and be aware of each step you take. A great place to practice this is in a park or in the wilderness. Observe yourself planting your foot down each time you take a step. Feel the earth beneath you, listen to the sound the step makes, feel your foot connect to the earth, observe how the ground feels beneath your foot, and observe the overall experience.
One of my favorite mindfulness exercises is with food. Take a piece of chocolate for example. Everybody loves chocolate. Take a bite of chocolate and truly experience it. Feel the texture of the chocolate as it melts in your mouth, delight in the taste, savour the flavour, and connect with the experience one bite at a time. Mindful eating is a very healthy addition to one’s lifestyle as it lets the body appreciate and be thankful for the food, especially when it involves nutritious and life enhancing foods full like fruits and vegetables. When one connects to the energy of ‘live foods’ they provide even more life-giving energy and their benefits are increased.
One way that I use mindfulness is by reminding myself to slow down, watch my steps, and to not rush when I am going somewhere, especially in increment weather. One wrong move can have long term complications, so I remind myself often to move mindfully.
There are countless ways to practice mindfulness, but I will leave you with the most important thought, which is to have fun with it and en-JOY the practice of mindfulness.
Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist and Certified Life Coach who is working at being more mindful and eating more chocolate… they are both so delightful.