How do you practice everyday Mindfulness?
I don’t mean the formal sitting still and in silence type of practice. Where you sit in a room on your own or with others, trying to block out all the sounds of life going on around you. In fact, the type of practice that most people associate with Mindfulness. Instead, I am talking about the idea of living your life with a mindfulness approach.
What on earth is he referring to, you might ask?
We are all capable of practicing mindfulness. In fact, we all experience it on a daily basis. They may be brief moments, but they do occur. A moment where you have absolute clarity of thought. Perhaps a clear focus on something to the exclusion of everything else. You may suddenly feel calm and collected. Even a feeling of being grounded in the present moment with the chaos of life circling around you, rather than you being in the middle of the chaos.
Each and every one of those moments can be described as everyday mindfulness. How do I experience everyday Mindfulness? I’ll give you three simple examples…
- Breath and Body: When I am driving to work, or home at the end of the day, there are moments where I feel my breathing slowing down. I feel open to the road / traffic / environment around me. A feeling of being centred.
- Present Moment Calm: I was recently in a meeting where there were a number of contentious and pointed conversations going on. Rather than reacting immediately to the discussion, I felt myself becoming more focused on the present moment. More focused not only on the words but the tones and inflections used by the people involved. As a result, i did not react. I did not feel as if I was being put on the spot. I was calm and collected. I was able to respond in a level and measured way. The feedback from a couple of people was “… how on earth did you remain so calm?”. The fact of the matter was, I really did feel calm.
- Compassion towards self and others: Finally, I have been working very extensively on a programme, working with a diverse team. This means long hours, many discussions and sometimes arguments. Being compassionate to others has been critical. It stops you feeling that the discussions are personal and pointed. They are not. People get stressed differently in different situations. Not taking it personally, is critical. Ad critical to this is being compassionate. A core element of Mindfulness.
How do you practice or experience everyday Mindfulness? Do you practice Mindfulness on a regular basis? Has it changed your approach to everyday situations? Do let me know.
I leave you with the following quote that really strikes home to me….. Namaste.
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ― Dalai Lama XIV