You go out with your loved ones, and you’re there physically, but mentally you’re just somewhere else. Your mind wanders to that past relationship experience that hurt you maybe? Or it wanders to this very important presentation you’re delivering in two weeks? Or even that meal you’ve been craving for two days now?
You end up not enjoying their company or missing much of what’s been shared and said. You might even miss what’s been felt during this gathering.
Mindfulness offers us the gift of retraining our minds, and the ability to have control over our attention. It allows us to attend to the present moment, without reacting to it, without judging or analyzing!
So how is that even possible?
So here’s a simple example, if you see a flower, you can start thinking: “oh it looks beautiful”, “I like its color very much”, “it doesn’t have a strong smell”, “I wish my partner can surprise me with a bouquet”, “I’d buy a dozen to decorate my room”, etc. This is you reacting to the flower! If you, however, look at the flower and just try to absorb it, observe it and enjoy it without engaging with any of your thoughts about it, then it’s considered a moment of mindfulness.
Any moment can be an invitation to mindfulness meditation if you choose to bring your awareness to that moment without reacting to it or analyzing anything!
There are different techniques through which you can practice mindfulness!
You can choose to sit and meditate with a focal point, it can be your breath! if you start getting distracted, with acceptance and openness try and bring your attention back.
This is one of my favorite meditation techniques. we so often take our breathing for granted. How many times a day, do we actually pause and bring our attention to this magic that’s happening inside of us, the air we inhale and exhale, that keeps us alive and present? For me, the breath is what connects us most to the present moment. I breathe therefore I am.
If you find it painful to sit cross-legged, you can sit on a chair. If you find it very hard to sit still, there are other techniques that can work for you. You can practice mindful walking, mindful eating or exercise in a mindful way.
Things you need to know before you meditate
Meditation and mindfulness take time and practice, think of your mind as a muscle that is very weak. Is one hour of training enough to strengthen this muscle? No? It takes time and training, right? Meditation is about training your mind. The first time you sit to meditate, you might find it very hard to control your attention and bring it to the present moment. It’ll keep running against what you want. But over time, and with daily practice, it changes and you become more and more still.
It’s better to sit down with a straight back in order to avoid falling asleep (unless you’re meditating before bedtime)
Do not come to meditation with any expectations, everyone’s experience is different. You can leave after your first meditation session feeling so positive and happy or you can leave feeling down and sad, it’s all part of your healing process. So it’s important to let go of any expectations and to just allow yourself to experience it with acceptance. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself, if your mind keeps wandering, with full acceptance keep bringing your attention to your present moment. Remember mindfulness takes time and practice!
And remember, the only way to get better at meditation, is to meditate!
If you have any questions you can you can reach me through: @healing_eg