What is mindfulness?
Being mindful is actually something that we all did very naturally when we were small children. When we are being mindful, we are choosing to notice the details of our experiences, just as they are in this moment and without judging or trying to change them in the first instance. Sometimes mindfulness is described as seeing clearly.
If you watch young children or animals exploring their world, you will see that they are curious, fully absorbed in the present moment, engaged in their activities and playful in their exploration. Experiences are new, fascinating and rich in possibility. This attitude and kind of attention is what we aim to rekindle in ourselves as adults through mindfulness practice. Learning to develop our curiosity and ability to notice a wide range of experiences both within and around us.
As adults we have been trained to analyze and make sense of our experience, mostly by thinking about it. We aren’t encouraged to play or to explore or to really experience our world. Being mindful, we are waking up to what our senses are telling us. Our minds and bodies constantly receive information, refreshing it moment by moment. This happens automatically and without any effort on our part. Mindfulness invites us to reconnect to this information, using our senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
Mindfulness Exercise: Tuning in to Sitting
Start by trying this simple exercise next time you are sitting down somewhere quiet. Spend five minutes simply noticing your experience of sitting.
1. Notice the sensations as you sit – your feet making contact with the floor, your bottom on the seat of the chair or on the cushion. Is there any feeling of pressure, or perhaps hardness or softness?
2. Can you feel any difference in temperature between your body parts and the various surfaces they are touching?
3. Does your body feel large or small compared to the chair you are sitting on?
4. Can you hear anything? What are the different sounds that you notice around you?
5. What else do you notice as you sit here for a few more moments?
6. There is no need to change your experience in any way – just notice.
Sounds simple and maybe a little strange to start with, but try it and you’re on your way to living more mindfully.
Mindfulness has emerged as one of the most important therapeutic practices available today. Inspired by Eastern meditative practices, mindfulness is a simple yet powerful approach that aims to help you become fully engaged in the present moment, and in the process overcome negative thoughts and feelings.
“This book has so much potential to help people and contribute to the flowering of greater well-being and sanity on this planet.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, author
The Mindfulness Breakthrough by Sarah Silverton
176 pages • Illustrated • £9.99
AUS $19.99 NZ $26.00
£9.99 l Buy the book now!