I often write about mindfulness (check out recent posts here and here), but I think there’s a reason it keeps coming up as a theme- in my work with private clients, in the relaxation sessions I lead with hospital nurses, and as part of my own everyday life.
Mindfulness sometimes gets a “bad rap” – people will tell me it’s only for those who do yoga, that they don’t have time for it, or that they are perfectly calm right now. I’ve had several people tell me recently that they can’t practice mindfulness because they “can’t make their minds empty”.
Well, mindfulness isn’t about that. Simply put, mindfulness is the act of being aware of our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and surrounding environment on a moment-by-moment basis. So sometimes there will be thoughts rushing through your head, sometimes you will be achy, sometimes you will notice that you’re frustrated – and all of that is okay.
Mindfulness is not about perfection, it’s about noticing. Allowing yourself to notice without rushing to change or fix is putting trust in your body and mind’s ultimate ability to regulate and “recalibrate” when given consistent time and space.
This all probably sounds lovely in theory, but how to make it real and practical? Mindfulness can be simple and small – it does not have to mean sitting in silent meditation for 20 minutes, it does not mean smelling like incense, and it does not have to mean humming mantras to yourself all day long.
Mindfulness can be:
- Pausing before you pick up your phone and taking a breath
- Listening to a favorite song without doing anything else
- Looking at the sunset (without Instagramming it!)
- Eating an ice cream cone slowly, enjoying the flavor and coldness
- Setting a timer on your phone for 1 minute and then doing nothing
What are some of the easy ways you practice mindfulness? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear!
PS. Interested in experiencing music for mindfulness? I’ll be leading a “Music & Mindfulness for Busy Women” group in Midtown Manhattan, starting in late September. Sign up for my monthly newsletter here to get early bird registration info in your inbox!