Mindfulness: The IS’s and ISNT’s

If I live my life being mindful, then I am living a fulfilled life, a life with intention, and a life that I am in tune with. Over the past two years I’ve really felt that mindfulness has had a positive impact on my wellbeing and overall quality of life.

I’m speaking from my own experience here, but I know for a fact that I have never felt so good within myself. And I really owe that to paying attention and embracing the moments that this life offers me; there is a peace that comes with accepting things exactly as they are, not trying to change things or striving for something more. And acceptance is not to be confused with complacency, as they are not the same. Mindfulness is about attending to the present and being aware that no amount of ruminating about the past or planning for the future is going to change what is happening right now in front of you, simply because it is already happening. Does that make sense?

Below is a quick break down of what mindfulness is and what mindfulness isn’t:

The IS’s

– Paying attention to the present moment

– Awareness

– A way of being

– Observation of experience

– Accepting all as it is, exactly as it is

– A practice

– Non doing

– Noticing

The ISNT’s

– Solely a religious or spiritual practice

– Just focused meditation

– Goal oriented

– Blocking thoughts

– Striving for some kind of higher/blissful state

A mindful life will look different for each person. Mindfulness is not just about the formal practice, it is being aware of all the moments that unfold throughout the day. You can practice being mindful whilst showering, cooking dinner, taking the dog for a walk, driving to work, basically anything you do is an opportunity to be mindful. It is noticing the little things we take for granted or never really acknowledge because we tend to live in autopilot mode; which is thinking the same things, doing the same things and reacting the same way. We spend a significant proportion of our lives distracted. And although many people would say time is one of our most important resources, I don’t think it is. Time passes by regardless and we can’t control that. This is why I say attention is my most prized possession; the present is the only moment you can truly operate from yet we are always stuck reliving the past or planning for what is to come.

So I’ll leave you with my definition: Mindfulness is about being here right now in the present moment, as it is. It is about participating in the act of being alive.

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