Mindfulness has many definitions these days. From my perspective, the essence of it is being in the present moment, as well as having an awareness of ourselves in the present moment – that includes thoughts, sensations, feelings. Oh, and it’s important to not have judgment.
This type of awareness can be an essential ingredient as we navigate times of extreme change. When it feels like the tornado winds are swirling around us and we feel like we are getting swept up in it against our will, being mindful in that moment of chaos can help us gain clarity. It can help us detach from unhelpful emotions and thoughts, which can illuminate what we truly want, and help us decide the actions that are within our power.
I have talked to lots of people who have tried practicing mindfulness and felt like they “didn’t do it right”. I believe ANYONE can learn to practice mindfulness, even when you have a busy life. And, it might even be more important for us to have this superpower because of all that we are juggling.
I have started collecting mindfulness exercises for people who are busy – juggling a lot of responsibilities and don’t have the time or money (or interest) to attend a silence retreat. Some of these practices take less than 5 minutes of time, and many can be practiced in the course of your normal (and likely crazy!) day. In fact, that’s how I got started with these practices – with a demanding job, two kids, and extended family and responsibilities, I felt like I could not find even 10 minutes a day to practice. I decided that I wanted to access what I had heard mindfulness could offer. So I started with 5 minutes a day, and then I thought, wait, I could do some of this while I’m commuting to work, or while I’m putting away the dishes. And I could change up the exercises each day because I like the variety, and plus, who knows what life will throw at me!
Doing these types of practices regularly has helped me gain more time in my day, become more efficient in making decisions that align with my true self, and stay calm(er!) amid the tornado of my life. If you’re curious, give some of these a try – you can read them by clicking below, or listen to my podcast here.
And if you have any practices that have worked for you that you want to share, I would love to hear from you!