Exploring Mindfulness

moment_rhospiritualguideI recently had the opportunity to attend a mindfulness class and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mindfulness is intended to help with stress and with controlling emotions.

It is about paying attention to your mind and body in the moment. Being aware. Check everything connected to what you notice. What is happening? Does your stomach hurt? How are you feeling?

Don’t label, just feel and let go. Narrow your focus and notice if the breath is deep and rhythmic. If not, then work on changing the breath to become rhythmic. Acknowledge your thoughts and emotions. Spend time with them. Just be. Absolutely do not judge yourself.

Mindfulness helps us to become aware and helps recognize our obsessive thoughts. If we practice mindfulness we will become aware of the now and be less distracted and caught up with stressing about what is happening around us.

One exercise we were made to do in the class was to listen to the person sitting across from us for two full minutes. We could not interrupt or talk. We had just had to look and listen. It was not as easy as it sounds. When we are at work we normally interact with each other as opposed to just sit and listen. What I discovered doing the exercise was that I actually really started to pay attention to the person, not just their words, the actual person. And I noticed how I was feeling while the person was talking. I was staying in the moment.

Another good exercise is to pick up a rock or leaf and to really analyze. Set a timer for 3 minutes and try it. Really look and analyze the rock. Analyze how it feels and its details for a solid 3 minutes. It is actually a very grounding exercise of awareness.

We walk this world mindlessly. Just moving from one task to the next task and not really “smelling the roses” so to speak.

A long time ago I took a course on women’s protection. The officer that was teaching said that you should always be aware of where you are and also when you are driving to be aware of what area you are in. Most people drive and let their mind wander by thinking of a recent conversation or are distracted by music playing. The police officer was pretty much talking about mindfulness. Be aware of your surroundings. Your senses should be active and aware.

When we are active and aware and mindful we can see the real scene occurring, not the chaotic, dramatized or obsessive scene we think we see.

Practice mindfulness. It is quite grounding!