Expand your awareness of the present moment and focus entirely on what you’re experiencing at that moment in time. Think your brain is too busy to focus? Mind scattered, busy, long to-do lists, you’ve taken on more than you can handle? You’re not alone.
Life on autopilot. We’ve all experienced it. Going about daily tasks mindlessly with little to no awareness until suddenly whatever you’re doing is done or you’ve arrived at your destination without awareness of the drive to get there.
After completing Yoga Teacher Training last month life became even busier. Not only have I added teaching yoga to my calendar. I have also returned to work after a long and wonderful summer break.
Add the workday back to my calendar and life was beginning to feel overwhelming. Ironically, even with all that is happening, I’ve never felt more balanced, centered and at ease. I am less overwhelmed and definitely less stressed and part of the reason for that is a conscious effort to practice mindfulness. I’ve stopped [almost] entirely doing one thing while thinking about what I need to do next. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true, I’ve stopped focusing on the destination and started enjoying the details of the journey.
Why you might be having a hard time being mindful:
- You don’t understand what it is [and isn’t]. Mindfulness isn’t about being perfectly present and focused at all times. Mindfulness isn’t something only for by people that practice yoga or meditate. Mindfulness is about being aware when your mind has wandered and bringing your focus and attention back to the moment.
- You’re making it more complicated and bigger than it needs to be. You can notice when your mind is wandering in the shower, while you’re enjoying a cup of coffee or playing with your kids. You can take a deep breath before you react to a frustrating situation. You can notice your breath in line at the grocery store. And no matter how scattered, spacey or impulsive you’ve been, you can always begin again.
- You’re only practicing as a reaction to being upset. Our brains have a hard time learning something new when they’re under stress. The more you practice being focused on the present moment when you’re happy and calm, the easier and more effective it will be when you’re stressed and crazy busy.
- You’re trying to do it alone. Practicing mindfulness is breaking a habit long held habit. As with learning anything new, look for support with books, videos, classes and friends.
Life is a beautiful gift and is filled with magical moments. Every second of it deserves to be lived whole heartedly.
Mindfulness in the news:
Yes, life is busy. I’m adjusting to being back at work, enjoying as much time with my son as I can while he’s home from college, trying to find a yoga studio that is a great match with my teaching, and beginning the craziness of senior year with my daughter. Did I mention I turned a year older yesterday?
It’s all good. I imagine when I was busy stressing out life was good then too. I was just too distracted to notice.
If I could give this feeling to everyone I would. Maybe I can help you get there on your own.
Do you struggle with being present in the moment? Are you a master multi-tasker? Have you ever driven home from work on autopilot and a little surprised when you notice you’re home?
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