Rooted in Eastern philosophy, mindfulness has been practiced for millennia by Buddhists and laymen. It is a purposeful way of experiencing life, in which we pay attention only to the moment at hand. We are unencumbered by a focus on the past, the future, or our ceaseless inner dialogue.
Here are three ways to be mindful today, without shaving your head or moving to the mountains. (That doesn’t sound bad though, does it?)
1. When you are in transit somewhere—walking down the street, riding in an elevator, peddling a bicycle—notice the feeling of your body as it contacts a surface. This could be your shoe soles slapping the asphalt, your hand gliding along a bannister, or your legs pumping up and down to crank your pedals. Give your full attention over to these sensations and let other thoughts go as they pop into your mind.
2. When you begin your day, pause to breathe. Sit at the edge of your bed, and bear in mind that that there is no urgency in this current moment. Let your gaze fall to the floor just in front of you and breathe in deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to rise with your breath. Breathe fully out of your mouth. Repeat.
3. When you greet a person whom you love, do so mindfully. If you have a small child, experience the smell of their hair and the feeling of their tiny limbs wrapped around you. If you have an elderly parent, know the crevasses of their hands when you clasp them. When you hug your partner, lean into them and tune into their breathing: the rising and falling that gives your loved one life.
Mindfulness is the underpinning of Well & Kind, because when we are able to shed the doubt, worry, distraction and numbness of day to day life, we can find our way to wellness. If you are interested in mindfulness-based health coaching for health, wellness, or disease management, reach out to me.