Hey there, folks!
As a few of you might know, I recently took a mindfulness course. It was eight weeks long on Wednesday evenings, and it was a brand new thing for me. I honestly wasn’t even entirely sure what it was or what I would be doing. Of course, I’d heard about mindfulness before, but also a lot about meditation. What were each of these things and what was the difference between them? It was all a big question mark in my head, and so I finally decided it was time to answer that question mark. Now, that huge question mark has turned into an even huger exclamation point. Yippy! I’m really glad that I took a chance on this course, so glad that I would love to share it all with you guys. An eight-week course does not an expert make, so this post is really just the ramblings of a mindfulness amateur
First, let’s see what the good ol’ dictionary has to say about it…
mindfulness 1 : “the quality or state of being mindful” 2 : “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also : such a state of awareness” – https://www.merriam-webster.com
Could not have said it better myself, I must admit! No seriously, what’s even the point of me blogging about all this? I’d like to just do a little experiment here, so let’s see how this goes… I’m gonna talk about a few of the steps of mindfulness that stood out for me, and you can see how they feel to you. Thanks for humoring me, guys
7 Steps of Mindfulness
Meaning – I feel like this one is important. Totally just my personal opinion here, but I think mindfulness is different for everyone. When I started considering taking this course, I asked myself why I was interested in mindfulness and what did I want to get out of it? You could try similar questions, if you’d like.
Inhale and exhale – Who knew breathing was so important? I seriously did not believe that doing a simple inhale and exhale could do so much good. Soothing, reassuring… all of these warm and fuzzy feelings come to me from just breathing.
Notice – What do you notice around you? Sounds? Smells? Being mindful is basically being aware. Also, how does all of this make you feel? For me, I feel like it helps put things into perspective. All I keep thinking of, is that saying, “this too shall pass”. Thanks, mindfulness!
Drowsy – Speaking of noticing things, I couldn’t help but notice that this whole mindfulness / meditation thing made me quite drowsy. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I caught myself nodding off during our silent meditations… awkward! Not sure, but maybe this could be a good sign? maybe it shows that I was relaxed?
Feelings – Feelings and emotions are a big part of mindfulness. Being aware of and then accepting feelings = being mindful
Understanding – Another important one here. Time to learn to be understanding and accepting of yourself… feelings, thoughts, sensations, etc. try to be understanding of all of it, with no judging. I know, this is definitely easier said than done… for me, especially.
Learned? – A common question I’ve been asked post-mindfulness course, is what did I learn from the experience? In short, I learned how to relax. I learned how to breathe and be okay with not being okay.. does that make sense? I guess in other words, I learned how to accept any not-so-great feelings I go through, and continue living peacefully. Cheesy, but true This is an important skill in life, I believe.
There ya have it, mindfulness in a nutshell… more specifically, in MY nutshell.
Have you ever tried any mindfulness exercises? What was your experience?
I hope you can maybe get something out of this post, even if it’s just a smile. That’s what I’m here for, after all