One of the most important things I learnt last year was the skill of being MINDFUL. This is a hard skill and I do not practice it nearly enough. I am not a mindfulness guru, I don’t have it all figured out and I am definitely not mindful most of the time but every now and again I find myself surprised once again that it works. Mindfulness is not all about being in a higher state all the time; it’s not about being above everything and remaining calm, almost untouchable. It is purely about taking stock of yourself, your environment and mostly your inner being.
When I started I struggled to even remember being mindful. I put an alarm on my phone for twice a day and when it went off I would simply stop what I was doing and think about what I was feeling. The hard part is learning not to judge the things you are feeling. To look at your inner conflicts, emotions and thoughts without trying to change or erase them. Emotions are neither good nor bad (something my therapist continually reminds me), they just are. If you are angry, you are angry, the same goes for being sad, feeling alone, stressed, happy, excited and many more. Learning to feel without judgement, to just acknowledge and accept (good and bad).
Over the past couple of weeks I have had plenty of time to practise being mindful. There have been serious stressors and emotional turmoil in my life and accepting all the feelings, thoughts and circumstances is not something that just happens. I have learnt (in my head at least) that it is okay to feel these things, to get angry and sad, to feel loneliness, abandonment and fear. These things come flying at me and too often I find myself hopping on the bus and getting trapped there instead of just watching it pass by. I have to remind myself to stop and feel, to stop and acknowledge, to stop and not get on the bus. The important thing is to STOP.
Be mindful of yourself, take a moment to stop and sit still, take in your surroundings and just be. Explore with your mind – tastes, smells, sights, sounds. Feel the textures of things around you, get lost in the discovery of things that you have been too busy to notice. 2 years ago I could not even sit still for 1 minute, never mind 5 or 10 minutes. Now I find myself enjoying the few minutes of mindfulness I can catch. I look when I walk, I notice when I watch and I explore. There is so much going on around us and within us but we are too busy to notice.
TAKE A MOMENT, STOP, ENJOY, ACCEPT, ACKNOWLEDGE AND ALLOW.
Please note that these are my own thoughts, opinions and feelings. My own take on mindfulness, not a book and most definitely not written by some doctor or world renown self help guru. These words come from my own experiences, use them, research the ideas and try it out but please do not accept my words as the final picture. You would be doing yourself an injustice not to find out more about mindfulness and trying it out. It is exceptionally freeing to just allow yourself to be without judgement and expectations. Find more information about Mindfulness on the DBT site above. Enjoy