Facts about Mindfulness

Mind… Body… Spirit




Many people have heard of mindfulness, but aren’t sure what it is or how it can help them. Here are a few useful facts to consider when thinking about adding a mindfulness practice to your daily life.


What Is Mindfulness?


Mindfulness is a type of meditation practice that has been used for thousands of years in order to focus the mind and improve concentration. It has the added benefit of making you more calm and relaxed, and can help you enjoy yourself more.


What Is Mindfulness Meditation?


To meditate means to think. Mindfulness meditations make you think in a certain way. The way you think depends on whether you are focusing on your internal experience or your external experience. In general, both forms can be described as focusing on trying to live in the present.


The Importance of Living in the Present


Living in the present is important because a lot of people are so busy that they are really going through the motions during their day as if they were on autopilot. Mindfulness forces you to focus and to pay attention to what you are thinking and doing. It can also help you enjoy life more, so it is not racing past and passing you by.


Life passes a lot of people by, because they are not really living in the present. They are dwelling on things that happened in the past or worrying about the future. But the fact is, you can’t change the past. If you carry the baggage from it all the time, your hands will be too full to embrace new possibilities.


And if you are worried about the future all the time, you will always be stressed and have a hard time relaxing and enjoying yourself. Living in the present is much more calming and soothing. It’s a chance to “stop and smell the roses” and really appreciate the simple things in your life.


Doing an Internal Mindfulness Meditation


With an internal meditation, start by calming the mind through focusing on your breath. Count an inhale and exhale as one. Try to count up to 5 without getting distracted by your racing thoughts about things that happened in the past, or your to-do list for the week.


When your mind is a bit calmer, start observing your thoughts as if you were watching TV. Just watch as they float across the sky like a cloud. You don’t have to follow the thought and get caught up in it. There’s no need to relive something embarrassing that happened to you when you were 15. You’re an adult now. Let it float past you.


Sit comfortably with your thoughts, for a few minutes in the morning and evening, not trying to judge good or bad. You should soon find yourself calmer, more relaxed, and less stressed, and better able to concentrate on the things that are really important to you.


Doing an External Mindfulness Meditation


An external mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere, even while moving. Using the five senses as a checklist, live in the moment by noting the sights, sounds, smells and so on around you. For example, if you are walking in the park, what do you see? Take time to look at it and enjoy it.


If you are eating a meal, slow down and really savor every mouthful. Don’t just shovel the food in your mouth while you are watching TV. You will enjoy things more and not sleepwalk through your life, but rather, be able to make the most of it.


Mindfulness meditation can help us all appreciate the present and get the most out of life.


What do you think?  Do you have a differing opinion?  Share your thoughts in the comments.  Let’s chat!


Remember Who You Are

I recently watched Disney’s “The Lion King” live action remake and had a surprising reaction…


I actually felt good when the movie was done!


Don’t get me wrong, I had my issues with this version of the movie but there was one thing that really stood out to me – and that’s what I want to focus on with this post.


There was a line from the movie that I hadn’t remembered – “Remember who you are…”


This statement jumped out at me in such a huge way that I’m writing this post at 2:53 a.m.!!


Why so important?


I recently turned 40 years old and while I often take stock of where things are in my life (sometimes good and sometimes not so great) I had to stop the film from playing. When the original Lion King came out in 1994, I was a mere 13 year old!


While there are definitely things that I’ve learned in life as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I can say there are some things that I’ve forgotten that in hindsight that I shouldn’t have:


  • Walk with little to no fear
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Life is about looking forward


Having no fear


Whether this comes from being “young and dumb” or because as younger little humans we haven’t really experienced life to a great extent, (I’m not sure), I’ve realized that there is more fear as we strive into “middle age.” Is this because we have more to lose? Is it due to experience?


Sometimes I miss “stepping out on faith” as it were. That’s not to say I didn’t have any fear as a kid but when I look back, I think I viewed life differently than I do now. If I was afraid that something wouldn’t work out, “Oh well, there’s always tomorrow and another opportunity…”


Not sweating the little things


This is oh so hard for me today! Things stay with me much longer and I don’t bounce back emotionally as quickly as I did when I was a child.


Remember the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” – Boy would I love to interview the author of that book! That’s another post for another day…


Eyes forward


I was in JROTC in high school and I recall standing at attention with my eyes forward. When you can only look ahead, you lose sight of what’s going on around you. You are focused – almost with blinders on – just like a racehorse.


As I’ve aged, I feel like my head is routinely scoping out things that are near me as well as far off.


“Will this knock me off balance?”


“Let me plan for this possible happening…”


Sometimes this way of thinking is discombobulating.


What the heck am I saying with this post?


All the rambling I just did above, this is my conclusion:


Remember who you are…






Full of courage…


Marry that with who you are today:






Still full of courage…


When Simba, (Yes, we’re back to The Lion King, LOL), travelled back to his Pride, he was able to join his younger self with the “person” he had become. When he took that fear, excitement, wonder about life, understanding that people will deceive you and so much more… only then was he able to overcome himself to truly “come home…”

What Does It Mean to Live in the Moment?

To live in the moment, or in the present, refers to a state of being aware, conscious, alert, in tune with your senses, and focused on what is happening at that particular moment in time. It is the opposite of “automatic living”, that is, just going through the motions.

More importantly, the present is a time during which we stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. We are able to enjoy the here and now.

Our Mind Creates Our World

Our mind is a powerful thing that processes all of our life’s experiences, and is also the instigator of our actions. However, most of the time, we are not even aware our own mind and its full power and potential. We lurch from one thought to the next with no rhyme or reason, and often feel the world is external to us, outside ourselves, and that we have no control over it.

The truth is that living in the present can help you gain the skills you need to take control of your life, through focus and concentration.

We Value What We Pay Attention To

When we concentrate our attention on the present, we focus on the task at hand, such as washing the dishes, gardening, or spending time with a loved one. We are not just sitting next to them on the sofa, with both of us fiddling with our cell phones. We are making eye contact, speaking, listening, and perhaps being affectionate. We give our full attention to what we are doing and we let go of the rest.

Being Mindful

The practice of living in the moment is referred to as being mindful – in other words, paying attention. Being mindful when we eat means we enjoy our food more, because we are not wolfing it down. Being mindful as we walk through the park means we can enjoy the beauty of nature, such as the flowers and birdsong. It is about quality not quantity, brief moments in the present that take us out of our busy day. We can stop running around propelled by stress and take a short “mini-vacation” through mindfulness practice.

How to Start Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness practice starts with observing things more closely, and then trying to describe them. Imagine washing the dishes. Think of the sight, sound, smell, touch and so on. What does it feel like? How do you feel when you are doing it?

For most of us, this is a dull chore, and one we usually do on autopilot without thinking about it. But thanks to mindfulness, it can become interesting and even fun.

Stopping to reflect on one or two of our actions throughout the day can help us discover the beauty and wonder of all we do. We stop taking things for granted.

We also start to feel more positive energy because we are being less dragged down by the baggage of our past, and are giving ourselves more and more permission to enjoy ourselves and have fun. We are creating special little moments, and through those moments, can feel confident we have more like them to look forward to.

Live Every Moment Like It Counts

Life is too short to sleepwalk through it. Adding mindfulness as a daily practice can help you truly appreciate all you have. You will notice your work improves, your relationships get better, and everything starts to feel more effortless and less stressful. It does take practice, but the result is a happier, healthier you with a rich life full of meaning.

The Positive Impact of Living in the Moment

Living in the moment may seem like a dream come true and an impossible goal at the same time. The good news is you can learn how to live in the moment with a bit of practice.

Why Focus on Living in the Moment?

Life is just a series of moments, one after another – here for a second, then gone the next. When we are children, every moment seems exciting and full of wonderful possibilities. We might fall down trying to ride a bike, or hate spinach, but in general, we are full of joy as we watch things unfold.

However, by the time we get to school age, our days start to become determined more and more by a fixed timetable of where we should be and what we should be doing. The time for spontaneity decreases as stress increases. We worry about working hard so we can get good grades and have a bright future.

We sometimes dwell on things that were difficult in our lives. In fact, we might focus on them so much that it holds us back from the success we deserve. For example, if you kept failing math tests, you would think you were bad at math and that would hold you back. You would be nervous at every test and this could make you almost sabotage yourself because of your expectations of failure.

As adults, the tendency to worry about the future and dwell on the past can become even more pronounced, preventing us from enjoying the good things in life. We get a job, have a family, and start to live on autopilot, while all the time feeling that there has to be more to life. Well, there is. It’s called living in the moment.

Enjoying the Here and Now

Living in the moment might sound “new age” or irresponsible, but it is actually a valuable life skill that can help you in your career, with your relationships, and more. It improves concentration because you are focusing on one thing, not trying to multitask.

It improves relationships because you are truly paying attention to what your family, friends and loved ones are saying, without an automatic, “Uh hunh.”

We still set priorities and go for our goals, but living in the moment, and what is termed mindfulness meditation, now become part of our daily routine. For a few minutes each day, we tune into our thoughts and observe them without judging or getting caught up in them. This is usually best done sitting down, in the morning and evening.

Throughout the day, whenever we wish, we can also become mindful of an action we are doing, such as washing the dishes. We enjoy the experience by noting what each of our senses is telling us. This makes us more focused and less stressed. We can recharge and renew. We let go of the past we can’t change and the future we can’t control, and allow ourselves to be a human being – not a “human doing” racing from one task to the next.

This allows you to feel more enjoyment from life, grounding you and making you feel more peaceful and alive. You will feel less anxious and fearful and more in command of your own life. You can give yourself permission to play and have fun.

Living in the moment through mindfulness can transform your outlook and relationships. Try it and see what a difference it can make to your life.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Do you “live in the moment?”  How do you practice that?  Share your thoughts in the comments.  Let’s chat!