This morning I practiced mindfulness.
Mindfulness is defined as, “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.” (Google)
Mindfulness, for me, is a state of being content with and accepting of myself.
First, I rolled out the yoga mat and did some poses that got me in touch with how my body is feeling today. I got my muscles talking to me. One of my lower back muscles is not feeling too good this morning, and my right knee aches. My chest enjoyed the movement that opened it up, and my back always appreciates when I give those muscles a good stretch.
Afterward I sat, and with my timer set for 25 minutes, practiced mindfulness meditation. With eyes closed I focused on the breath. My mind often wanders, and when it does, I acknowledge what I was thinking then return to the breath. I may move my focus from breath to sound, and listen to Rumpy and/or the cats breathing, birds singing, the sound of cars headed down the road.
I have gained much awareness about myself through this practice. I know more about who I am, what I want, and what I fear.
I compare that to how I mindlessly function when I spend hours on social media and video games. Even when I’m walking I find myself wandering into daydreams that serve no purpose whatsoever.
The worst part of living mindlessly is when I’m not in the present, I cannot be present for anyone, including myself, Rumpy or June Buggie. When I am in the now, I can enjoy Rumpy’s kisses and appreciate the effort he puts into sneaking and eating the cat’s food when he thinks I’m not paying attention (the stinker takes advantage of my not being present in the now). I can feel my body relax with the sound of Buggie’s purrs as he kneads my shoulder and neck.
I have mindlessly existed for much of my life. I spent my time worrying about what you thought about me. I denied my feelings and did what I thought was rational and socially acceptable. Women are especially good at this. We are conditioned to deny ourselves and instead focus on the needs of everyone else.
I challenge each of you to spend a few moments alone with yourself today. Listen to what your body and mind are saying to you. Acknowledge your worries. Savor that sip of coffee or tea. Feel the coolness or warmth of the air on your skin.
For you are most certainly worth taking the time to cultivate a relationship with.