Mindfulness 101: What is it?

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Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment. It’s noticing this moment, right now, as it is. And then allowing it to be what it is—regardless of whether we like it or not, whether it feels good or not, or whether we want to be experiencing it or not. It’s accepting that whatever’s happening right now, is happening. ⠀

It’s noticing this moment, seeing this moment, watching this moment, allowing this moment to be what it is, and then accepting that it is what it is—regardless of whatever thoughts or opinions our mind might have about it. Understanding that whatever we’re experiencing is the truth of our present moment.⠀

The mindfulness practice is a way we train ourselves to be mindful—to drop into the present moment.⠀

There are formal ways to practice, like meditation, where we set aside time, removed from the distractions of daily life, to specifically practice mindfulness.⠀

There are also informal practices, which can done in any moment of our normal, daily lives—when we’re eating, showering, walking down the street, talking to someone on the phone, commuting to work, grocery shopping, or lying in bed at night.⠀

With the mindfulness practice, we use all of our senses to pay attention to different aspects of our present moment—what do we see, what do we hear, what do we taste, what do we feel, what do we smell?⠀

It doesn’t take huge action; it’s actually soft and gentle. But it does take effort.⠀

We’re so used to getting lost in our thoughts that it can feel difficult to be within the present moment—especially when beginning this practice. But it gets easier with time.⠀

Mindfulness only works if we work it every day—if we’re committed to the process. And, it is a process. It’s never over. There is no end goal or finish line. We can’t “do” mindfulness and then be done with it. It’s something that happens moment-by-moment. It’s continuous. It’s a way of life.⠀

And, it creates a beautiful life. Because it gives us the ability to determine how we live our lives—by choosing how we want to react to every single thing we experience. ⠀

We can’t determine every experience we have, but we can absolutely decide how to react to it.