Mindfulness

This is the essence of MINDFULNESS. We move though each moment authentically, with intention. Of course this does not happen over night. In our fast paced world, we are inundated with technology that demands our attention, yet our attention spans have dwindled, our patience eroded away by perceived instant gratification.

What does it mean to be MINDFUL? …and almost more importantly, WHY should we practice mindfulness?

We are going to delve into these two questions today and hopefully discover simple ways to practice mindfulness daily. First, I would like to share some background as to how and why I began to cultivate a mindfulness practice over 12 years ago.

Simply put, I was a mess. I had allowed health issues to cause extra stress and frequent stress reactions in multiple areas of my life. I was not THRIVING. Deep down I knew something needed to change but was not sure where or how to begin. Then I came across a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness and everything changed.

I think I read the book cover to cover in two days. Thich Nhat Hanh had provided me with a new perspective. Something that should have been plain to see. Everything we do should have our full attention. Everything.

In the book, a question was posed: “Why do you wash the dishes?” Most people, including myself 12 plus years ago, would answer “Well, to get them clean of course!” However that is not the reason Thich gives us. We “wash the dishes to wash the dishes.” Think about that for a minute.

When washing the dishes, or car, or whatever; our focus, our attention should be on the task at hand, not the outcome. When we place significance only on the outcome, we are not living intentionally in the moment. Instead we hitch our happiness to an unpredictable future event.


This is the essence of MINDFULNESS. We move though each moment authentically, with intention. Of course this does not happen over night. In our fast paced world, we are inundated with technology that demands our attention, yet our attention spans have dwindled, our patience eroded away by perceived instant gratification.

Thus we miss out on the experience. We wind up reminiscing about the past or worring about the future while our NOW passes us by. Which brings us to our WHY? Why should we be praticing mindfulness? Becuase the alternative is to live mindlessly in the past or future; to be awash in stress or worry. We have a choice in each moment to be present and aware. But it takes PRACTICE.

We have now arrived at the WHAT. What is mindfulness practice. Well, it could simply be washing the dishes or attentively listening to a piece of music. It is moving from moment to moment with attention, focus, and intention.


Practice daily. Begin slowly. Pick a activity you enjoy doing and notice if your mind drifts. If your attention wavers, gently refocus your attention back to your activity. Personally, I began with mindful walking. Learning to notice the feeling as each foot makes contact with the ground. Noticing the pattern of my breath while immersed in the sounds of nature. This is still one of my favorite activities- I love being barefoot in order to really experience that contact with the earth! When I can’t go barefoot, I wear Vibram Five Fingers —barefoot feel with sole protection!


How much time do we spend inattentively adrift? Which senses are being ignored when we stare into our phones for hours? What moments are we missing when we ruminate worriedly about the future? Mindfulness bring us back to ourselves, back to the moment.

Adirondack Mountains

Remember, each moment of our lives is a beautiful , once in a lifetime sensory experience.

Mindful Moments

Mindful Moments are little exercises we can do to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives. I will share these little nuggets from time to time and eventually they will get their own page. If you are looking for information regarding a specific practice such as breath work, Reiki, meditation; please contact me and I will be happy to assist!

Reflection

Do you take time to reflect back on your day without judgment?
Right before I go to sleep, I allow my day to play back in my mind. I remain an unattached witness. This allows a deeper view into the nature of my actions and thoughts. Over time, patterns emerge and give way to thoughtful change. I am ever grateful for the lessons the Universe provides daily.
One step, one breath at a time.

Try this exercise before you go to sleep tonight.

Once settled, be sure to get comfortable, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Gently follow your breath in and out until you feel yourself melt into your bed. Then take a deep breath and return to your natural breathing.

Now think back to when you woke up. Allow your day to pass through your minds eye as if you are watching a movie. Only witness, no judgement. Once you have finished “viewing” your day, take another deep breath and as you exhale release any tension you have been holding on to. Exhale and let go.

Now that you have released the day, you are prepared for well rested, peaceful sleep.

Sweet Dreams.

Photo by Kristin Vogt on Pexels.com

Moments

All of Life is a collection of moments. We move through our days aware of the passage of time, but view this time as slices; little pieces to be looked at individually as memories. This view of life is an illusion. Life, in all it’s mystery, is an ongoing process of flow, movement, change. There is nothing static about life – it is dynamic and eternal.

…and so is everything. Everything is a process. The Universe is a process. WE are part of that dynamic, every changing dance of energy.
But we forget. We get stuck in a perceived reality in which “I” becomes the center of that perceived reality.
There is no “I”.
Look for it, I dare you! It can be frightening when you suddenly realize you do not exist the way you thought you did.


When we take the time to settle and fall into stillness, the process of life touches the soul. We then immerse ourselves in the flow of universal energy merging with all. We experience a brief moment of ONENESS. A moment of pure bliss, indescribable.
Breathe. Flow. Merge.
Bliss.

namaste.

Beginnings

Where to start? How to begin? Questions we all have at some point or multiple points in our lives. They are exactly the questions I’ve been asking myself for the last hour. “How do I start this post? This litany of words that you may or may not find useful? How do I start? What do I write?”

I’m not new to blogs. I’ve used two other popular blog hosting sites, yet this is a challenge. Why? Yes, that is the correct question. Not how to begin, but why do we begin.

So why? Why start fresh. One word. Simplify.

It seems SIMPLIFY is the path I’ve been on for a while. A number of years ago, in addition to working a full time job, I was convinced I wanted to open my own business. I was encouraged by friends and family to sell my “artistic creations” that I would give as gifts. Jewelry, artwork, whatever; my creativity was unbounded as I was creating! Such joy the art of creation! I figured I’d test the waters of selling my art at craft fairs. Long story short, I loved the initial rush, but after a few years my creative flow felt stifled as I was taking too many custom orders. What I have loved became a chore. Simplify!

No more material goods. Better for me. Better for the planet. So better for you too, as a habitant of this glorious orb.

During this time, I was also a Reiki practitioner and Wellness Consultant at a local Yoga studio (in addition to my full time job). I taught wellness classes and assisted those searching for their path find their AUTHENTIC SELF over 21 days of guided soul work. In other words, I helped awesome people find their smile, their light, their truth! What’s better than making someone smile??

It brought me great joy to teach. I learned so much about myself in the process. It was an incredibly enriching experience. The catch? It was taking time away from my family, which is ALWAYS priority number one. SIMPLIFY.

My son became very involved in the drama program at his school and parents are the backbone of set work and construction. I was no longer teaching (in person), yet I had found and outlet for my creativity (set design) while helping family and community. Better for everyone.

Yet, through it all I maintained a website, social media presence, and virtual clients. …and here I am.

SIMPLIFY.

Why? Why exactly did I start a blog some ten years ago? Because I wanted to write. That simple.

But somewhere along the line, sharing of thoughts and art turned into first a dream, a goal; became a job, a chore; turned into teaching joy, demonstrating patience, building connections; became busy weekends and missing family experiences. Simplify.

Why? Simply for peace of mind. It took me a while to get here, to know what my values and priorities are right now, in this moment, this beginning.

I hope in this new beginning I am able to share ways of mindfully simplifying our lives in order to experience more joy, less stress and live AUTHENTICALLY.

Here is to new beginnings!

Peace & Light

Kristen