So what is Mindfulness, really?
We hear so much about it these days. Schools are teaching it, there are vlogs and apps and magazines and books all dedicated to mindfulness. It’s a lucrative word, and apparently if you’ve jumped on the bandwagon and published something about this practice you’ve done well for yourself. But what exactly is it? What exactly does mindfulness mean? I decided to look it up.
The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
"Their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"
A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
And now I ask why is it that we need to “move” towards this? Isn’t this something one does naturally? Do we have to be taught, for example, to feel the sun, sand, wind, at the beach when we’re there? Do we have to be taught how to feel the cold, the rushing of the wind, the sensation of speed as we zip down from the mountaintop on skis? How does this then become “therapeutic” and why do we have to be taught this and why is this something that must be taught to our children? (Though teaching children and people how to be mindful of one another, something altogether different, might not be a bad idea!)
Is this merely a new term for Slow Living? Another phrase that became popular a few years ago. Slow Living was about slowing down to enjoy the moment and all that it had to offer. And in Europe they practice Hygge, “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).”
I’ve long been a preacher of Slow Living. I do believe we all have so much on our plates and do move at warp speeds. We all need to stop and smell the roses.
Below are some ways to Slow Down and be Mindful
Some like to meditate but if that’s not your thing…
Admire the sunset (or sunrise if you’re an early bird)
Linger over coffee, tea or a glass of wine
Make time to spend with friends, both new and old
Take a long luxurious baths
Go for a massage or stretches
Lose yourself in a good movie or series…
Read for pleasure…
Go for a walk or a run
Crawl into bed early
Stay in bed late one morning
Look for sea glass - in summer or winter. I love the beach off season!
Go look for shells
Go for a hike
Go cross country skiing
Take a daytrip and record your day with a camera
Prepare a really nice meal for a friend
Write a letter
Write a journal entry
Pick fresh flowers
Make a floral arrangement
Go for a long bike ride
Enjoy a picnic
Go kayaking or paddleboarding