Let's talk a little this morning about Mindfulness.
When you search images for Mindfulness on the Internet, this is what you come up with... A man or woman sitting calmly and quietly and contemplating life. Being still enough to see and understand what is happening around them.
But let's be realistic. This is not what most of your day looks like. If you meditate or journal or sit quietly sipping coffee in the morning, then you get a taste of this, and it can make a HUGE impact on your day.
But the real question is, how do we bring this feeling along with us throughout the rest of our hectic schedule?
What does Mindfulness really mean?
The dictionary says Mindfulness is "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something." That works ok when you're sitting still in a quiet room, focusing on your body and quieting your mind. But how the heck do you keep this going at your day job, while cooking dinner, while cleaning house and checking work emails and texting someone back and seeing what that notification noise meant on your cellphone, and, and, and, and........
How can your mind be full of all of these things at once?
You know the answer.... IT CAN'T! It can only pick and choose and jump back and forth. And none of that will get you the powerful, focused result your desire.
Let's think about it from another angle. Have you ever been in a coffee shop trying to work and the people next to you are having a loud conversation, or worse are both slurping their coffee in a slightly different rhythm? Or what about trying to have a conversation in a crowded restaurant? This is how your brain feels every time you feed it 5Xs the information it can handle at once.
So while Mindfulness has lots of various meanings, connotations, and religious/ metaphysical associations, its simplest definition just means a mind not empty and not overflowing. A mind just full enough to do it's best work.
Where do you find yourself being MindLESS or being Mind-OVER-full?
I have a huge tendency to try to accomplish things "efficiently," by which I accidentally mean too quickly. Sometimes I have to stop and breathe and refocus. Sometimes I make a mistake and have to take extra time to fix it. I plan to spend the next few months finding ways to quiet my mind and get it running at optimal speed. My current best practice is to realize when my mind is racing, find a calming oil, and sit quietly for 2-3 minutes reciting an Affirmation. Then I've just spent a couple minutes to refocus, with the likelihood of saving many more minutes I would have spent in chaos or frustration!
On the other end of the spectrum, I know a huge part of MindLESSness that I struggle against is social media scrolling. It's so easy to head onto Facebook or Instagram for business and then waste 30 minutes scrolling. I've found my best tool so far is to write down what I'm going to post for the day and then only go on when I'm posting or replying to a comment. It doesn't necessarily fix the scrolling, but it minimizes the number of times I head to social media.
I'd love for y'all to share where you are with MindFULLness. What areas of your life create the most resistance to this balance? Do you struggle with feeling rushed or with wasting time on Social Media. Perhaps you have totally different challenges than me. And if you have tips that work for you let us know that too!
P.S. Want to join me over the next few months as I focus on Mindfulness? Join the Creativity Club for our upcoming workshops and daily Facebook activities!