Updated: Jul 4
It wasn’t my thing either for a long time. I took classes in the past, but it never stuck and became a habit. But, as many of you know, I now practice and teach Mindfulness and Meditation. I took an Introductory class back in 2016 and loved it so much, I went on to the Educator class, and then continued on to get Certified. Mindfulness and Mediation is now my thing. My jam!
A lot of times, the words Mindfulness and Meditation words are used simultaneously. But there is a difference between practicing Mindfulness, as a state, in your every day life, and practicing Meditation. Practicing Meditation certainly helps with being able to live your life mindfully.
So, what is Mindfulness? And what does it do for you?
This is my definition in the simplest terms: Paying attention and being where you are right now, also known as, the present moment. Paying attention to what is going on, and your thoughts and feelings. The basic definition of Mindfulness Meditation is a practice of sitting ‘still and quiet” for a period of time and taking notice of your breathing.
Mindfulness can do a lot for you. Foremost, it teaches you not to miss out on things. We are always so busy and multitasking, we rarely notice what’s in front of us or enjoy where we are in the moment. Not every moment is joyful, but Mindfulness also teaches us to “surf the waves”, manage tough emotions and helps us be curious and learn from difficult situations. Mindfulness can be an important tool in social justice work and recognizing bias.
Those who have taken my classes know a little bit about my story. I was a Type A minus (😊), goal-setting overachiever perfectionist. I was a first-time Mom, working full-time, and didn’t like it. I had wanted to be a stay-at-home Mom. I felt guilty about it, and if you read my early blog post (https://www.mabwellness.net/post/dear-moms-dads-you-can-t-stop-the-waves-but-you-can-learn-to-surf), that’s not good! I didn’t take care of myself, was stressed, and at the time didn’t know how not to be. It was like I accepted I was supposed to be stressed, and just lived that way.
So, what happened was I developed chronic stress, and chronic pain. I won’t tell you my whole life story in this post, but leave it to say, Mindfulness changed my life. I’m not perfect at it, but it’s made my life, in 4 short words – lighter, brighter, clearer, easier. The most impactful has been the emotions work it has allowed me to do (also written about it my previous blog post). I also love the quiet and stillness it brings into my life.
I could continue to write this article about all the benefits Mindfulness could bring to your life. Or I could write it about all the benefits it’s brought to my life. Or I could make it about the scientific research that has been done that proves what it can do for you. Or I could make it about the neuroscience, which shows how it changes your brain (it does!). All good stuff and can be articles on their own. But this is more about suggesting to you to “Try it! and See for yourself”.
There is a great documentary out called “My Year of Living Mindfully”, where Shannon Harvey, (a journalist), (https://www.myyearoflivingmindfully.com/), practiced, logged, and conducted scientific studies for a year (and more!). My favorite thing was when Shannon said it didn’t matter what the studies showed or not, she said (subjectively) I feel better! And why wouldn’t you continue to do something that makes you feel better? This experiment also changed the trajectory of her life, where she is now trying to bring Mindfulness to Syrian refugees. But I could digress again.
So, how do you make it your thing?
Introducing my new program called
Each week (every Monday) through the summer, I will post a short Mindfulness activity/practice (aka a micro-practice) on my blog page. Try it out one or more days during the week, see what you think, how you feel, and comment and share your experience.
Was it easy? Was it difficult? Did you find it helpful? Can you try to incorporate it into your life?
Hope you will join me and get others onboard!
Feel free to print the pdf that will be attached, and post on your fridge, mirror or computer monitor!
Participation is free but Donations are accepted. Any amount is appreciated. The recommendation is $60 for the 10-week program.With donations >$50, I will donate 10% to Color of Change, an organization fighting racial injustice in the country.
Venmo@Mary-Brown-124 or PayPal email@example.com
Any questions, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org