Thursday, June 4, 2009
I started the year with a focus word rather than a new year’s resolution and this year’s word is ‘mindfulness’. Paying attention is what mindfulness has come to mean to me. Paying attention to what I need and want, paying attention to what I am doing, right now. The easiest way for me to practice mindfulness is creating something. Whether I’m painting a piece of fabric, working with beads, stitching something on the sewing machine – in those moments – I am only present to what I am doing right then, and it is the most relaxing way to be. One structured way that I practice mindfulness is meditation, simple, easy and also relaxing. Reading is another way. And being who I am I have been reading a lot about mindfulness and looking at the different ways people approach this subject.
Below are some links to three different articles about mindfulness and what it is:
Article on mindfulness by CNN http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/01/mindfulness.training.stress/index.html?eref=rss_mostpopular
Regarding reducing stress, slowing down.
http://www.dailyvanguard.com/mindfulness-in-the-classroom-1.1744374 how a professor teaches his students about mindfulness.
http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/mindandbody/a/harvardmind.htm some straightforward tips on practicing mindfulness for yourself every day.
One thing that has become very apparent to me this year is how much mindfulness is set aside when I am very stressed, which is really the time that I need to practice mindfulness most. It is very interesting to me how easy it is to set aside the things that are good for you or make you feel good, when you get stressed; as if the only thing you can focus on is how bad it is and you can’t wait until it is over so you can have time to do some fun and relaxing things again. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make sure to meditate, even for three minutes a day, or spend 10 minutes painting something, or creating something or drawing, or whatever it is you do? Why is that so challenging in the face of stress?