Hey friends! As you know, this week has been all about mindfulness! Let’s first remind ourselves of the term’s definition…
“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”
I like this definition because it explicitly states the key to being mindful which is achieving that distance or detachment from your thoughts. This sounded wild to me at first – how could I be anything but my thoughts? But low and behold our thoughts are actually not who we are! They are constructed by all of the experiences (imagined or real) in our lives and over time, certain emotions and responses become automatic to an experience we have had over and over again. You can totally see where I’m going with this right? Okay, let’s just stick to these tips and save ourselves the overanalyzing of what mindfulness is in the first place. Check out my blog post about mindfulness where I really get into it. Here are my tips for you for practicing mindfulness regularly.
What has been the key for me in finding my mindfulness practice, may not bring YOU what YOUR body and mind need right now. If you have access to Google, there are endless mindfulness practices at your fingertips. The reality is that if you’re not feeling connected to the tools that you’re using, you’re definitely not going to stick with them and you’re surely not going to enjoy the journey. And this is what we’re all about here, my Courage Collective peeps! We’re about the journey and making it the happiest one possible. So tip one is to find the mindfulness practice that leaves you feeling supported, focused, and detached from your thoughts/feelings (as best as possible).
And just because I thought you might be curious, here’s mine….
There is something out there for everyone. I’ve tried mindfulness walks, incorporated it into my 20 minutes on the spin bike at the gym, or even used a meditation/mindfulness app that guides you through the practice step by step. Share what works for you in the comment box below!
My experience has been that setting time aside each day is vital in being consistently mindful throughout the day. I relate it to exercising and strengthening a muscle but in this case the muscle is your mindfulness. Creating space in your routine is so key in building a new habit for yourself. MAKE TIME for it. You will benefit from intentionally scheduling your practice into your day – clocking it in like an appointment with yourself. I’m the type of person that will have every intention of doing something but if I don’t jot it down in a to do list or physically put it in my calendar, the chances I complete the task drastically reduce.
And when I say make time, I mean make time. Time is relative guys, we all have the same amount of minutes in the day, so why are some folks so capable of achieving a bunch more than others in those minutes? Don’t limit yourself with excuses, you’re not giving yourself enough credit. If you need 10 more minutes in the morning to fit your practice in, wake up ten minutes earlier. If you are incorporating mindfulness into your walks to work, set yourself up with a reminder on your phone to make sure you don’t forget. If you plan to practice right before bed, let your partner or family know about your plan and ask them to help you make space to accomplish it. Find what you love about the practice and dwell on THAT. If you keep making time and focussing on that part that you love, I promise you you’ll keep coming back to it. For me, it’s the part where my awareness swells – it has become the reason I crave my practice. And a craving easily makes for a habit.
I kind of mentioned this in Tip Two. It isn’t enough to intend on making your practice happen – it’s okay to get a little calculated about the whole thing. I like to create physical reminders for myself; especially during the first few weeks of a new practice. You can put sticky notes on your mirrors or above your door handles as reminders. You can try setting a daily reminder in your phone that goes off each day to prompt your practice. Another gentle way of reminding myself is by setting up my mindfulness space before I go to bed at night (because I practice first thing in the morning). I plan to go into way more detail about how a good nighttime routine can set you up for success later. But very simply now, it’s nice to open my bedroom door in the morning to see my mat and blanket placed and ready for me to jump in. At the start, I was even placing my book with my practice instructions next to my blanket. These little nudges can make developing a new practice easier and less frustrating. Path of least resistance y’all…set it up!
Above all else, it is so important to be kind to yourself in this process. A state of mindfulness doesn’t come from a frustrated heart and body, so go easy on yourself. This is all about finding what’s right for you and if you can do yourself any favours, it would be practicing self-compassion over the course of developing this habit. Even folks who have been practicing mindfulness and meditation for years don’t find the same level of awareness each day – it’s new every time, that’s the beauty of being human. To each practice, you bring your most recent challenges, your anticipation, or anxiety. It’s valid for you to have a different experience in each mindfulness practice and it’s up to you to accept that with an open and patient heart. The fact that you’re stepping into mindfulness in the first place is something to be proud of. So be gentle – this takes time and you’re on your way.
Remember, you are so worthy and you are so beautiful. x
If these words strike a chord with you and you are interested in learning more about my One on One Coaching Packages or Workshops, click here. Can’t wait to chat!
Please subscribe to the newsletter and follow/like The Courage Collective all over the social media universe. Sending you so much gratitude for your support!