What is mindfulness and why should you try to integrate it into your life?
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
When we are mindful, we are conscious; we are aware of what we feel; we are aware of how we will respond to outer and inner stimulus and we are aware of the reality around us. We acknowledge without a need to change the current state of things, but instead, these observations allow us to process our feelings, thoughts, and surroundings without being reactive so that we can be responsibly responsive.
When we are grounded we exhibit stability in our mind and with our emotions. Picture an ancient tree. Its roots run deep into the ground, and it stands tall and sturdy with branches outstretched. It may sway and move with winds and storms, but it is stable; it does not waiver. Instead, it stretches out to reach multiple spaces of the area around it; to touch the spaces around it, to provide for those under and within it, to take in nourishment from the sun and water. A tree is a perfect example of what grounded looks like. It is not easy to achieve the majesty of a tree, but it is something to strive for.
Being grounded enables us to be mindful because we have sure footing on reality; we can then focus inward to address areas where there may be turmoil or healing. When we are not grounded we can feel distracted and anxious. Grounding can be easily achieved by doing some simple things such as allowing your bare feet to touch the Earth, or feeling water on your body. Take time to focus on how these things feel. Take time to breathe in and out fully and try to bring your mind back to what it is that you feel if your thoughts begin to wander. This helps you ground and is also a great transition into meditation.
Integrating Mindfulness into your Life
So often we get so caught up with life that we go through the motions with what feels like our heads unattached. You drive to work and suddenly you have arrived and have no clue how you even got there as you have no recollection of your drive. When we have these experiences it is because we are not being mindful and our minds are all over the place. It is so hard for most of us to turn off. The next time you feel this way try to focus on one thing, whether that be following your breath, in and out, which is a go-to since that is always with you, or try to find something in nature to pay attention to. If you are driving this may be difficult, but you always have the sky in your line of vision. Remember, you do not have to have a staring contest with the object of your focus, all you are doing is bringing your attention to something that for that moment is constant, real and not a manifestation of your mind, be it real or imagined.