Mindfulness is the raw human ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
Yes, it sounds almost impossible, but I’m here to tell you that it is possible. Let’s be clear. You will still be going to have times when you will take the lioness out of you. Still, they will be for shorter periods and viewed from an aware state of mind.
The power of rituals is known from ancient times. Look at the Tea Ceremony, which is one of the most beautiful and simplest mindful practices. The first documented evidence of tea in Japan dates to the 8th century.
Every day we wake up, brush our teeth, make a coffee or a tea, prepare for work, eat, shower, and all the other things each of us does daily. We perform rituals even if we are conscious of it or not. Rituals are already part of our daily lives, but we don’t see what we do from this perspective.
The whole point of being mindful is to see yourself. To look at you while you’re putting on makeup, changing the diaper, or writing an email and reclaim that present moment. Be in that moment fully, look at yourself from every angle, and you will be surprised to see how much richness you can find in only one gesture.
By practising this awareness with time, you will start bringing yourself in the present moment, appreciate more what you’re doing, see and even change easily the rituals that no longer serve you.
The Benefits Of Mindfulness Practice
You already know the benefits. There is so much information out there about the benefits of meditation, mindfulness, healthy habits, and so on that, I’m almost sure you know them all by now. But not only for these reasons, but from a more practical sense, because I know you already experienced it.
Have you ever gotten lost in a fixed point? Completely freeing yourself from all the pressure and thoughts for a few seconds? You know, that moment when someone tries to catch your eye or makes a loud sound to bring you back to Earth? Have you ever received a hug from someone and noticed the warmth and you melting in that hug for a few seconds? Or maybe you surprised yourself by smiling and having a good feeling after seeing something emotional.
Well, these moments are your moments of mindfulness. You already know what it is and how it feels like you lack the practice of being in control of it—the method of applying it consciously. Mindfulness is not a goal. It is something you expand consciously.
This awareness will impact all your life, in everything you do, because you will vibrate on a different frequency, affecting everything you do. But to have a sort of guidance in this matter, pay attention to your emotions, level of stress, focus, productivity, self-esteem, energy, compassion, clarity, and your feelings overall.
How To Practice Mindfulness on The Go
All we have to do is establish attention in the present moment and allow ourselves to be with what is happening in that precise moment.
Talking to someone, playing with your kids, driving to work, making dinner, being in a meeting or at the supermarket, literally every action you do in a day from the moment you wake up and until you fall asleep can and should be an occasion to be mindful.
Acknowledging what is happening, what you are seeing, feeling, or experiencing without judging is a moment of presence. Most of our insecurities and fears come from things that didn’t even happen. We are somewhere in the past or the future, and we are obliviated by what is happening in front of us. After noticing that we did it again, we feel bad and start judging ourselves because we missed a moment, and the process begins again.
Mindfulness is seeing yourself in these moments and maybe saying: „Hey, this thing didn’t even happen, so I don’t need to worry about it. What am I doing right now? I’m eating. What attractive colours I have in this meal! I sense a little bit of cardamon, an intriguing combination. I like these flavours. How nice to notice them.”
In this way, you practice and expand mindfulness. Apply this awareness whenever you remember, no matter what you do, even if it is a habit that you do not like and want to set free. Look at what you do, the gestures, the preparation, how you feel before and after, what you think, what you notice, acknowledge that you see these things. Sarcasm doesn’t work here, so do your best to name everything correctly without judging what you feel regarding that action.
Where to Introduce Mindfulness Throughout The Day
I want to point out that there is always a choice (see also my article about the power of choice). There is never a perfect time to pause and have a moment of quietness and believe me. I know what I’m talking about.
I worked in an advertising agency for a few years, and the pace and intensity with which things were happening were overwhelming most of the time. Being a mother and having my own business is twice as hard as when I was only an employee.
There is never a moment to be mindful. I literally have to grab myself from the void and offer myself a second of stillness. Most of us were never taught to deal with challenging situations, needless to say to practice mindfulness.
So be gentle with yourself when you start and also along the way. Even though being mindful is a normal state of being, we have forgotten about it, and now we need time and practice to remember it.
The mindful daily rituals you want to introduce in your daily routine don’t have to be complicated. You can start by introducing little moments of awareness in the activities you are already doing.
When starting a new activity
Take a few seconds before doing a task to close your eyes and breath deeply. Before exiting your house, before eating or a meeting are just a few examples. Pause for a second and notice the breathing.
In the middle of an ongoing situation or process
You enter your car ready to go to work, you have your key almost in contact, but you remember being mindful. Before you start the car, let your shoulders down and start breading. Maybe you think about how many seconds have passed since you started the exercise, but you also notice yourself thinking about these, so you bring your focus again to the breathing.
Two more breaths and you are ready to go. There, that is your mindful moment. It wasn’t „perfect”, but we don’t count perfection here but repetition. Now introduce these every time you remember about mindfulness.
Or when you are just waiting.
These are my favourite moments of all. I learned so much in the minutes or hours I waited for someone that I can’t count them anymore. I love to wait. It’s such a precious time that I can have with myself, and that I’m so grateful for it. I had plenty of aha moments while waiting for someone, for public transportation, or for a meeting to begin.
Daily Mindful Rituals
If you need some ideas where to focus your attention to be mindful, or maybe if you want to introduce new rituals in your daily life, in each case, I made a list with some ideas you can implement easily.
- After you wake up, drink a glass of water.
- Reset your space each morning: make your bed, refresh the room, light up a candle or incense, set an intention for the day, and put everything in place if you didn’t do it the night before
- Dance on the first song that comes your way
- Allow your mind to wander for a while
- Look through the window at the sky, at a plant, or a bird and breath
- Go for a walk to the bakery, coffee shop or the corner store and look at the sky (no tech)
- Embrace relaxation, even if it is just for 5 minutes, be there you have a meeting with yourself
- Write everything that goes through your mind for 3 minutes. Make a brain dump. NO judging
- Cuddle with someone or your fur friend or anything that brings you peace
- Notice any tendency to be hard on yourself and transform the situation
- Be patient and gentle with yourself
Please write your comments in the box below. I would be more than happy to know how it went. If you discovered something in your daily life or if you managed to implement a new habit. Or maybe you found something new that you wish to share with the rest of us.
It is essential to know that we are not alone in this. We all make mistakes, we all judge and punished ourselves, but it is twice important to understand that we can transform all in moments of expansion and sell-love.
Remember to love yourself.