Mindfulness is the art of being present in our lives. Mindfulness gives us a foundation for treating our selves with a sense of compassion and self-respect. Mindfulness helps us not take ourselves too seriously, and it can keep us from getting stuck in irrational and distorted patterns of thinking.
Perhaps most importantly mindfulness puts us in touch with our own deepest wisdom and inner truth. A growing body of scientific research has shown how beneficial mindfulness can be for our minds, bodies and spirits. We have both seen firsthand how basic mindfulness skills can benefit a broad range of clients in their journey to wellness.
“I came to the woods to live consciously, and not when I came to die find out I had not lived” -H. Thoreau
Mindfulness means seeing what is true about ourselves and the world around us without all of our usual distortions. We often perceive ourselves and the world based upon our past experiences acting out of habit and instinct. Sometimes means we end up playing out the same old patterns over and over again. When we are not aware we allow the momentum of our life to carry us along without much choice or direction on our part. We can easily make decisions based on fear and avoidance, rather than clarity of purpose and fresh imagination. Becoming more mindful helps us reverse this tendency and puts us back into the driver’s seat of our life.
Mindfulness means being present and aware. It is obvious that if we are not fully present during positive experiences, we can miss out on their full enjoyment. How often have we found ourselves daydreaming about the past or the future while having dinner with a loved one or while walking in a beautiful park?
Learning to slow down and bring our attention back to the present moment is a tremendous gift we can give ourselves.
The discovery of ourselves is an ongoing creative process. When we live in a world that bombards us with messages about how we should act and what we should think mindfulness encourages us to take a moment and reconnect with our own deepest values and emotions. This leads to a deep and rich quality to our lives as well as a much greater understanding of our selves. Mindfulness can reveal the innate wisdom and intelligence found in our embodied experience. We have all had moments of transcendent beauty when time stops and we are filled with a depth and breadth of experience that makes our ordinary daily state seem dull in comparison. Perhaps it was reaching the top of a mountain after a difficult climb, a beautiful heart stopping overlook, a special piece of music, or simply a moment alone with someone you love. These moments enrich our lives and give us a glimpse of a deeper dimension of being than we typically experience. Mindfulness can help us connect with this deeper dimension of BEING right in the midst of our daily lives.