Why Mindfully Aware?
Several folks have asked me about the name of my practice - Mindfully Aware. Here's my answer. The term "mindfulness" has become so commonplace that it has lost some of its meaning and impact. The term "awareness" has taken the place of mindfulness in many contexts because it is carries more of an impact just because it isn't used as much. But guess what....as it is used over and over, it will also become commonplace. Therefore, I chose to use Mindfully Aware and just embrace the entire concept.
Living mindfully aware is an incredibly important part of a healthy lifestyle. But what does it actually mean? The term mindfulness means a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Take a few seconds to think about that in the context of your own life. How often do you really focus on the moment you're in? Aren't we usually focused on either our past or our future? We can get stuck in regrets for the past and focus on how we wish it could have been different. By the same token, we can get stuck in reminiscing about the past . . . .those wondeful moments that have already taken place but we wish we could hold onto. Other times, we get hyper focused on the future either dreading something or anticipating something to the point that we aren't aware of the moment we are in. We are not mindfully aware. We are totally distracted and in emotional and mental chaos.
If this sounds and feels a lot like your life, please know that it can be different. There are other ways to live and manage the chaos of our daily lives. By making small changes, we can actually experience great benefits.
1. Begin your day with a time of gratitude. Taking stock of the gifts and blessings in your life will put you in a positive mindset as you move into your day.
2. Begin a short meditative breathing practice. The act of focused breathing can help clear your mind and allow you to focus more effectively.
3. Take time to connect with nature. Years of research supports the fact that taking time in nature (a walk in a park, spending a few minutes sitting on the porch, etc.) calms your over stimulated brain and nervous system. It can even boost your mood!