Living a mindful life is a work in progress, but it is worth the constant practice. Mindfulness practices can look and feel different for every person and how we engage in them can change with each day.
At its core, mindfulness is comprised of a number of components, each of which play a role in how we approach our daily lives.
One component of mindfulness is learning to focus your attention on one thing at a time. This includes being aware of and able to recognize what is going on around you (sounds and smells) and what is going on inside you (thoughts and sensations).
This quality allows us to look at our experiences in a nonjudgmental manner. That is to say – to look at events objectively as opposed to labeling them as either “good” or “bad.” Self-compassion is an important part of this skill.
This means being in touch with the present moment rather than allowing yourself to be caught up in thoughts about the past (also known as rumination) or the future. This skill focuses on being an active participant in experiences instead of just “going through the motions” or “being stuck on auto-pilot.”
Beginner’s mind focuses on being open to new possibilities. It also refers to observing things as they truly are, as opposed to what we perceive them to be. For example, going into a situation with a preconceived notion of an end result can distort your experience. This prevents you from getting in touch with the true experience.
Here is a quick mindfulness practice you can do in five minutes, every day.
Mindfulness is not an overnight process. It takes time, patience with yourself, self-compassion, and practice. We invite you to join one of our community workshops or ongoing programs to further your education in mindful living.