What the heck is mindfulness? It’s talked about elusively in yoga classes and in articles, but what exactly is it and why is it important?
We are distracted and busy, now more than ever – outside and inside our minds. Everything is pining for our attention. Things are chaotic right now – lord knows we can use a little calm in this chaos.
I was first introduced to mindfulness in a yoga class a decade ago. It was me and a bunch of 80-year old white haired dudes. It was a gentle yoga class at 11am on a Friday. We never stood up on our mats. I hated it. The teacher led a guided meditation in savasana where we counted 1-2-3-4-5 and so forth until a thought popped in your head. When a thought appeared, you started back at 1. I couldn’t get past 2.
I never realized I had so many thoughts!
The roommate in my head never shut up – she was neve rending broken record telling me what to do, what I should be doing, what I did wrong, worrying about something in the future, ruminating about something in the past, adding items to my grocery list, wondering why he didn’t call me back, pondering what I should eat after yoga class. It was mayhem in my mind!
I mean, honestly, if my mind were an actual person, I’d punch her in the face. That’s how annoying she is.
That night I had the best sleep of my life. That one yoga class sparked a wonderment and curiosity of how to quiet my mind and seek this elusive mindfulness-thing.
Oftentimes we are the opposite of mindful. You’re in resistance when you are trying to control someone or something. Resistance is either aversion to what you’re currently experiencing or attachment to an outcome. Trying to control and resist what is, creates more suffering.
Mindfulness is being connected to the present moment, to the joy and the magic of life that surrounds you. That may have sounded a little Dalai Lama, Namaste woo-woo, but don’t knock it till you try it.
Mindfulness can be thought of a “state,” a “trait” or a “practice.”
Meditation is the daily practice of staying present, nurturing your heart and letting go of the story so you can see and feel what is in front of you.
You do the practice on your cushion, so you can live and be your practice off it – to be present, feel fully, and be free from storyline in your daily life.
Meditation sounds good. We know it’s good for us, and maybe we have good intentions to meditate, so why is it so hard to do?
In today’s episode, I hope to de-bunk any anxiety around meditation so you can actually start doing it. I give you 5 easy steps to creating a meditation practice in just 1 minute each day. That’s super easy right?
How to meditate: R.P.M:
3. Meditate for 1 minute
(Sit up tall and erect. Set your timer for 60 seconds: 1 min to Zen) Add on time when you have a consistent habit of meditating each morning.
So what do you do for those 60 seconds that can seem like forever?
· Breathe and witness – be fully present to what’s in front of you.
· Detach from the outcome (there’s no bad meditation), release judgement (of how you’re doing. It’s just a practice of watching where your mind likes to take you) and let go of adding a storyline (extra commentary)
· Engage in the next moment or thought without an agenda
Meditation is like paper training a puppy. The puppy wanders and you gently bring the puppy back to the paper. Your mind will follow a thought, and you gently bring your mind back to your breath and observe with space what is in front of you.
The practice of meditation is just a practice. It’s a daily habit to watch your mind and make a conscious choice to come back to your breath, to the sensations in your body, to the present moment. This practice is really just practice for off of your cushion, so when you get distracted, feel untethered or become heated from a story in your head, you can come back to your breath, to your body and to this present moment, remembering this moment is exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Joy is not the absence of suffering, the absence of challenges, or the absence of anything else. Living with joy means that we develop a sense of inner well-being that allows us to embrace whatever the present moment offers.
Mindfulness instills in us a genuine sense of curiosity and wonder, even toward the mundane and challenging details of our existence.
Have the life you want by being present to the life you have.
Head over to my new website: audreysuttonmills.com for your free guided meditation and a print out of these 5 easy steps of cultivating a meditation practice. Thank you for being a part of our community. If this has helped you, please take a moment to do a review and share this episode with your friends or online.
Also, my signature online course, Soul School, which launches April 20th with a free webinar and a discount just for you. Soul School helps you come home to your Truth: you are enough and you matter and guides you to live your most inspired life and be the person you want to be. Sign up on my new website audresuttonmills.com to be the first to know!
What the heck is mindfulness? It’s talked about elusively in yoga classes and in articles, but what exactly is it and why is it important? We are distracted and busy, now more than ever – outside and inside our minds. Everything is pining for our attention.