What is “mindfulness?” Being fully in the present. Sounds simple, but is often elusive. Whether brushing our teeth, petting our dog, or reading this website—we’re challenged to stay in the micro-moments of our task. How often do we go on autopilot, e.g. drive home without realizing how we got there? How often do we parallel process, e.g. check our phones while talking to our kids? Our minds are divided. With this level of constant distraction and overwhelm, we’re vulnerable to stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, upset and jangled nerves . . . not feeling we can get a handle on life. Mindfulness helps us dial down, eases and soothes our revved up, tight energy.
Mindfulness includes three parts:
Intention—we deliberately choose to practice focusing on something. We have a reason why this is important for us, and with this awareness, we initiate acting with focus.
Attention—we pay attention to our experience. This can be informal, everyday life, e.g. walking, making love, doing laundry, exercising, eating, talking. Our focus can also be formal, e.g. meditation, praying.
Attitude—We’re not judging our experience. We’re letting it unfold, and being with whatever’s happening. We’re being kind and soft, curious and compassionate. We’re learning to be empathic and patient with our immediate moment.
In order to cultivate awareness, mindfulness training uses multiple methods, including but not limited to meditation.