Mindfulness– it’s not just for your yoga teacher anymore.
From big business to elementary schools, western culture is embracing mindfulness and seeing its value. A mindful person takes an approach that is thoughtful, one that looks at the big picture, and most importantly – goes beyond their own scope. But what does that look like?
When you think mindfulness its easy to picture a smiling yogini with her legs crossed in a field of flowers or a person who is consistently happy. Although we know the practices of mindfulness, when it comes to applying it to our lives it’s harder to see ourselves as mindful. To take a mindful approach to mindfulness, we have to remember what it is not.
What makes you mindful today, might not make you mindful tomorrow. It’s a practice that cannot be defined by good or bad habits. Instead, it’s a steady continuous practice that’s only solid quality is commitment. You will always fall out of your mindful practice, but if you’ve made a commitment to yourself to be mindful, you will most likely jump back to it pretty quickly.
Apply it to your life: stop judging yourself. Instead of making rules for mindfulness, make the commitment to observe yourself daily. This doesn’t have to be specific carved out time, it just has to be something you notice as you walk down the street or go through your workday. Simple observance brings more awareness to our habits and how they impact our surrounding environment and the people around us.
The above idea is solid– observe yourself. But then, when you realize you forgot to do that, don’t get frustrated. Mindfulness recognizes the natural cycle we go through. We have times of wanting to do better for ourselves and our loved ones and we have times when those good intentions get swept under the rug. The mindful person knows that and flows with it.
Yes, I talked about this last week but it’s worth repeating again. It’s good to be a positive person. But a person who only looks at the good side of a situation is most likely pushing negative feelings down.
All in all, as you continue to invite a mindful practice into your life, remember that applied mindfulness is not always done with a smile, it’s done despite one. A mindful person looks at situations from all sides, and not only does she look — she aims to understand, too.