You’re likely to see it listed in magazine article titles while you pass through your grocery store check-out line, in marketing blurbs, on t-shirts, tattoos, even on vanity license plates.The word is usually associated with calm images of serene settings, smiling meditators, or something similar to the photo I’ve included in this post.
But what is it? What is Mindfulness?
Google dictionary offers the following:
1.the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2.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, used as a therapeutic technique.
Learning the ability to become conscious or aware–to be fully present in what’s happening right now–is one of the most helpful gifts you can give yourself.
I believe deeply in the importance of mindfulness in our lives today. It is sorely lacking in our fast-paced, multitasking, fatigued, be-everything-for-everyone-else-first culture. So let’s talk about discovering and living a mindful life.
When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves. ~ Jack Kornfield
My definition of mindfulness is different that the clinical dictionary example above. I believe mindfulness is artful presence. It is a skill. Like any skill it takes practice to develop and strengthen. (Remember you have to crawl before you walk, walk before you run.) Having attention on purpose is the simplest difficult thing you’ve every tried. (Or the most difficult simple thing.)
I feel that one of the reasons some shy away from contemplative practices, meditation, or living mindfully is because there is believe that those activities are selfish. They take you away from work tasks or family time. They don’t fit into ideas of recreation. Learning to be self-aware isn’t selfish, it’s one of the best things you can do for the other areas in your life.
I believe meditation can be described as training the mind to become aware of what is going on right now and learning to return to the present moment when (not if) we become distracted. It helps us learn to better focus at work, to be absolutely more present to our family, friends, and loved ones. It can also improve our experience of the activities we most enjoy.
This is what is happening right now. Just this. Multi-tasking has been shown to be less effective than gaining focus on what it is we’re doing at the present moment. When we’re engaged in conversation with spouse, partner, friend, co-workers, employers, etc. most of us are really only connected to the interaction half the time. Have you ever driven from your home to work and if asked couldn’t really describe the drive. We live, work, and love on autopilot. Life really can be better when we’re aware of being right here.
I will be offering instruction on meditation and mindfulness through one-on-one coaching, email contact, blog articles, and podcast recordings on the teaching along with simple guided meditation examples.
Click on my email link below, connect with me through the ZaneDarnerCoach facebook page, or reach out through Instagram. Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to follow up with you.
An accountability partner helps you get from where you are to where you most want to be. If you’re working on a specific project, an area where you’re feeling stuck, or wanting to strike out into something new that’s calling you please feel welcome to contact me to see how mindfulness coaching might help out.
~ Zane Darner