All Who Wander Are Not Lost
Today is World Mindfulness Day, and I am committed to continue sharing my knowledge and research on mindfulness. In warming up to this concept of being aware, for a moment I ask you to set aside your definition of mindfulness so that you can fully experience it. In defining it, the essence of mindfulness is lost. Instead of creating barriers in your mind of what it means to be mindful, allow yourself to be open to receive all the beautiful things mindfulness can bridge you to. And I am no expert, nor perfect as I do find myself drifting away from the Just Bee Perspective from time to time. I have my good days and also my not-so-mindful moments or bad days. Adopting mindfulness as a practice is about being on a journey of awareness, and rather than telling you what to do, I can lead you onto the path.
I invite you to participate in my upcoming Experience Mindfulness - Facebook Live event on Sunday, September 29th from 10:00am-10:30am. The best part is that you will be joining this event remotely from the comfort of your home, car, or even your bed. I will be leading you through deep breathing and a short guided meditation. Please RSVP if you will be joining – I will be sharing more details soon!
To supplement my list of Mindful Myths I posted earlier, I am sharing some things most people may not already know about mindfulness:
1. On average, the present moment lasts about 3-4 seconds (unless you are made up of the very small percentage of meditators). Mindfulness is not about completely shutting off your mind; it is about becoming aware of your thoughts. Mind wandering is normal. And not all who wander are lost. When you practice mindful meditation and are able to notice when your mind wanders, this cultivates mindfulness.
***Mindfulness Exercise***: Take some time (start with 5 minutes per day or 15 minutes if you are feeling bold). Set an alarm on your phone - this is YOU time. Close your eyes to avoid distractions. Keep your focus on the inhale and exhale, and breathe deeply. Notice mind wandering. Easy, isn’t it?
2. At any given moment, our minds can process up to 146 pieces of information. This is genius, but also dangerous when we are unaware of our thoughts and what we are telling ourselves. Mindfulness teaches us to be conscious of our self-talk and mindful about how we choose to treat ourselves. ''The information we allow into consciousness becomes extremely important; it is, in fact, what determines the content and the quality of life.'' - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Learn more about accessing consciousness and the state of flow).
3. Mindfulness is a way to cope. It does not always lead to relaxation, but instead teaches us to how to process different experiences (both positive and negative). Some of us tend to push out the negativity, while others avoid dealing with the negativity until we get to that point of no return - when all it takes is one tiny experience for all of our emotions to pour out at once. As I have shared before, mindful habits are created just like any other habit, and require effort and practice. If you are familiar with the concept of neuroplasticity, mindfulness literally rewires you brain so that you are able to make better and more clear decisions, let go of unnecessary clutter in your mind, all while enabling you to understand and manage your stress.
4. Mindfulness requires curiosity, openness (to receiving), and being kind and non-judgmental to ourselves. This goes back to my request of pushing away your belief and thoughts around mindfulness so that you are able to experience all it has to offer. Being non-judgmental toward our situations, we allow ourselves to just bee.
5. Mindfulness combats the stigma around mental health. The mindfulness approach to mental health focuses on wellness rather than illness. It places all human beings in the same category of everyone needing to increasingly and effectively cope with their mental health, rather than separating people with mental illness with everyone else. We can all benefit from mindfulness - nobody is perfect.
6. All major world religions encompass mindfulness. It is not just a Buddhist (sati) or Hindu (dhyana) philosophy, but is also found in Christianity (recollection), Islam (zik), and Judaism (kavanah). At the same time, mindfulness is accessible to all human beings, regardless of religion or spirituality. The practice of being present is in fact part of the human experience.
If you have any questions or would like to connect and share your thoughts on this topic, I would love to talk to you! Please feel free to contact me.