What does being mindful mean? You may have heard of mindfulness meditation but what does it mean to BE mindful? Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. Being mindful means to have that awareness of everything around you. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, “mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Mindfulness practitioners learn how to pay attention on purpose by practicing specially developed mindfulness meditation practices & mindful movements. Being mindful is an intentional way of being that you can cultivate on a daily basis. Being mindful means to be conscious and aware of all the things around you and how you affect them.
For instance, I live in a house that has a basement apartment below. I try to be conscious of the noise that I make and since I stay up very late at night doing things like writing articles I try my best to not disturb people sleeping in close proximity to my activities. I am careful not to wear shoes in my house and to walk lightly on my feet.
As a young man, I was taught by rainbow family elders to tread lightly in the woods. Not only does this mean to physically walk lightly, meaning on the front of your feet and not on your heels, but also to be aware of WHERE you step, HOW you step ,and even WHEN you step. Basically, this just means to be aware of how you affect your surroundings.
Another way to practice being mindful is with your voice. Not only can one take care in what they say but HOW they say it. The volume of one’s voice can also be important.
Do you use an inside voice when you’re outside? You may not get heard or may get asked to constantly repeat yourself. Do you use an outside voice when you’re inside? You may be so loud that you become annoying without even knowing it.
Being aware of your surroundings and the vibration you are putting forth in those surroundings is very important when being mindful.
There are many ways to become more mindful and mindfulness meditation is one of those ways. There are many mindfulness meditation resources on the web. Here are some tips on being more mindful…
Pay attention to your breathing. When all else fails always return to this tip.
Try to notice everything that you are doing when you’re doing something specific. For instance, if you are taking a shower notice the sound of the water, the temperature of the water, the smell of the soap and any other thing that you can sense. If you are eating notice the texture and the color of the food, its taste, its smell and texture.
Focus on the things that distract you. Pay attention to where you space out, for example, being on the computer, driving, doing household chores. Focus on bringing more awareness to those moments of distraction.
Be aware of people around you. Notice their eyes, their clothes. Take advantage of every moment and compliment someone or express affection.
Imagine a more mindful world!