a state in which you are consciously aware of your actions.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
For me, that means that everything I do, be it washing the dishes, reading, yoga, walking, petting the cats, cleaning, etc…..
The UFO (Un-Finished Object)
For the past few weeks, I’ve started back to work on a project, a very large writing project. Now I could have finished this project weeks ago, but I decided instead to put off finishing it.
When I started this particular project, I was in a bit of a bad emotional state. I was panicking and freaking out on most days about another part of my life. Because I was feeling both stressed and out of control almost everyday, when I started and went to work on the project, I had a hard time staying focused on it. I was pretty much trying to gung-ho my writing by force and put very little thought and love into it.
It didn’t it work, by the way. Gung-ho’ing never works. My project still sat unfinished until just recently when I started doing yoga and meditating everyday.
At this point you are probably wondering what in the heck does finishing your writing project, yoga, stress and meditation have to do with mindfulness?
When you start to practice yoga, one of the first things they will tell you to do is breathe. You are told to breathe and be mindful of your breath. In and Out….Inhale and exhale. From the moment you start practicing by yourself or with an instructor or DVD, they will remind you to breathe. They might even say something like ‘be mindful of your breath’.
So you are breathing in and out, and connecting with it, moving from asana to asana, focusing and becoming aware of your body and your breath. Now just by becoming aware of your breath while practicing yoga, you are being mindful.
Then there is meditation. Most people think of meditation and it conjures up some pictures in their head of some swami in a sheet sitting in lotus position for hours and hours starting at a wall. Don’t feel bad if that’s the same picture you get in your head. I used to feel that I had to be like that swami, so disciplined and so guru to be able to practice meditation. I didn’t think it was for me cause I didn’t fit that picture.
Turns out I was dead wrong. Meditation is defined as a practice in which an individual trains the mind. To do what? Well that depends on what you want to achieve with meditation. I use meditation to help calm my mind. Sometimes I do a guided meditation. Other times I just listen to music. The point is that I have started to take at least 2 minutes out of my day to sit, close my eyes, breath and meditate.
Now because I am calmer, I am not only able to be mindful during both my yoga and meditation practices, but I am noticing it spill over into other areas of my life, such as my work and the aforementioned project.
And I’m finishing that project…..with mindfulness.