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How to Practice Being Mindful

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).

Nonjudgmental Observation 

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.

Letting Be

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 

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.

Mindfulness Exercise in Action

Here is a quick mindfulness practice you can do in five minutes, every day.

  1. If you are seated, allow your spine to be self-supported, or use a pillow if needed
  2. Soften your gaze or close your eyes.
  3. Focus your attention on your breathing at this moment. Notice what it feels like in your body. Breathing naturally.
  4. Bring your attention to your belly.
  5. Continue your focus on your breathing – is it quick, or short? Deep or shallow? How does your chest or belly feel as you breathe?
  6. If you notice that your mind has wandered away from your breath (which is completely normal), take a moment to notice where your attention went, and then gently guide your attention back to your breathing.
  7. Continue this for as long as you would like (but being able to do this for 5 minutes is great)!

Continuing Your Mindfulness Journey

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.


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