You see it on magazine and book covers, products claim to be it, TV and radio boast about its benefits, but what exactly is mindfulness and being mindful?
At its simplest, mindfulness is awareness. It is bringing non-judgmental attention to the here and the now. To your body, mind, and for me, spirit. An easy way to understand mindfulness is to reflect on its opposite. Can you think of moments during this day that your mind was not fully present in what you were doing? Perhaps, you are not fully engaged while reading this article. You scan it while thinking about other things that have happened during the day. You pause to scroll Instagram. Bringing mindfulness into our lives allows us to be fully present in what we are doing. Mindfulness can help us to fully embody the life that we are living.
Mindfulness can be approached in a variety of ways. There is no one way to practice mindfulness. The science of secular mindfulness has only begun to track the health benefits that mindfulness and contemplative practices can have for an individual. Gently Being works to share mindfulness in the myriad of ways it has been developed and shared throughout the centuries and around the world. Mindfulness can be approached from an entirely secular perspective or it can enrich a religious or spiritual life that you may already be leading. One of the beautiful aspects of Mindfulness is the way it manifests and grows differently for each person.
But why should you care about mindfulness? Mindfulness is wonderful for many, many reasons. To name a few: Mindfulness can improve your sleep, it can help reduce stress, you may improve your ability for concentration, it builds empathy and compassion, and can bring more joy to your life.
If mindfulness sounds like something you would like to practice, you can start right now! Even if it is only for the briefest of moments, allow your full attention to rest on one activity you do today. When you find your mind wandering, gently guide it back to your present self. You are now practicing mindfulness.