A week of self-care: mindfulness

Mindfulness

Many of us go about our days rushing from one thing to the next, not actually focusing very well on any one thing, instead trying to do more, essentially multi-tasking the life out of life. I know, because I was like that. I still, to some extent – as a single Mama, who’s self-employed – am like that because of my circumstances, but after meditating daily for many months now (see here), I’ve found that I’m becoming much more mindful in my life.

I find myself, now, observing as I go about my life, trying to be completely aware of the moment I’m in and not making any judgements about the moment as it’s happening. Rather, simply trying to be aware. As I focus on the moment, there’s no room for registering the multiple – unwanted – images/noises/sensations that I’m being bombarded with from all directions. There’s only room for the one moment I choose to concentrate on and give all my attention to. In this way, I’m able to give that chosen moment my full – uninterrupted – attention.

This has several effects: it makes me slow down; it makes me so much more aware – and appreciative – of everything that is happening in that place/moment where my attention is focused; it makes me remember every detail of that place/moment so that I can, later, recall everything about it. When we’re mindful about where we place our attention, we’re rewarded with a symphony of sensory experiences from that moment: the sights, sounds, smells, feel, taste of the moment all intensify, mingling and building together in a crescendo that silently shouts, “You’re alive!”.

Aside from the benefits of feeling wholly and totally alive through mindfulness, mindful living can enable a life of greater authenticity, as mindfulness teaches you to live according to what your soul speaks to you, rather than a life of simply reacting to the demands of your ego (which are fickle and rarely satiated).

Once we stop receiving unwanted, and uncalled for, information, we have the time we need to concentrate on ourselves, on our lives. When we stop reacting and start being selective about where we spend our time, we’re more open to learn from the things we experience and the ways in which we experience them. This can teach us a great deal about where we are in our lives and the ways in which we truly want to be living our lives. Mindfulness is, in this respect, a great teacher and a great healer.

Mindful living can also enable the forging of better relationships: once you yourself are calmer, more relaxed, more mindful about your actions and their consequences, you’ll realise the need for better communication and will, therefore, begin to speak more clearly and listen more intently. Focus will be improved. As will creativity:   experiencing life in all it’s glory, by observing and being more acutely aware of life as it happens, will inspire ideas, new ways of thinking and new forms of creation.

Additionally, mindfulness encourages you to live life with more intention. Once you find, and see, the joy in life through mindfully observing your moments, you develop a sense of the preciousness of life. You realise that you must be more intentional about the moments you choose to experience. You won’t want to waste your life on moments that don’t enrich you or fulfil you in some way. You’ll find yourself thirsty for only positive experiences and actively backing – if not running – away from anything that lessens your joy.

In this way, mindfulness, through its ability to augment your reality by allowing you to actually live every moment, allows you to ‘re-program’ your mind. Once you begin to live mindfully, you’ll have no place for the negative and will, actively, avoid situations in which your joy is sapped. You’ll begin seeing the good and actively avoid ‘bad’. It re-trains your mind towards the positive.

As a consequence of the lessons that mindfulness teaches, life becomes filled with positive emotions, arising from the experiencing, and savouring, of positive moments: kindness, generosity, love, compassion…through mindfulness your life will become a hotbed of grace. 

I know, for myself, since I’ve been living consciously, through being more mindful about my life, I’ve experienced an incredible spiritual re-awakening that has brought me not only a great sense of peace but also a renewed sense of purpose across all aspects of my life.

[This post is part of a week-long series ‘A week of self-care’: Introduction, Quiet Time, Journalling, Self-reflection, Meditation…pop back tomorrow for the concluding post!]

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6 thoughts on “A week of self-care: mindfulness

  1. Wonderful!

    It can be so enriching to walk, and feel every step, every breath.

    When I started doing this, at first I missed the thoughts that had kept me company. And then I realized that I didn’t need them at all, and that they had often led me far from where I wanted to be.

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Yes, it’s true, Andrew….I also don’t miss the thoughts because I appreciate the ‘deep silence’ too much! [I just read somewhere of the nine kinds of silence and read of ‘fertile silence’….I loved that expression!]

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  2. Angel Jem says:

    Mindfulness is something I try to get. I try to appreciate the small things, and to focus on the now (but don’t ask if I always succeed!!)

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  3. Eva says:

    Another beautiful one, Helen 🙂 Thank you for writing and sharing with us. I have to completely agree… I had a few days of so much mindfulness last week in my intimate and friend relationships (a little harder at home with family) and it made a HUGE difference… everything felt so right and true. Trying to get back into that wonderful swing of things… like you, I don’t want to live any other way!

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