art / creativity / health / learning / meditation / yoga

What is mindfulness?

Let’s have some real talk here, friend. You honestly only have this one present moment. You are not a physicist. You do not have a DeLorean. You do not have access to time travel. You do not have time to punish yourself and live your life in regret. There is fantasy and there is your real present moment. While you don’t have a way to hit the rewind button, you do have the tool of mindfulness.

So what is MINDFULNESS?

In its most essential meaning, mindfulness is about being in this moment. Paying attention to this one present moment that you are in and being grounded in what is your physical experience can help us connect to reality instead of letting our anxieties take over our minds.

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How can I use mindfulness? Two things I’ve used lately have been meditation and creativity.

1) Meditation: When things get overwhelming, sit down in your chair or stand up tall. Plant your feet firmly beneath you and breathe. Return back to yourself, and breathe. Really feel your lungs lift up. Stand up straight. This will create more space in your chest and in your belly to accommodate more air. When we are grounded in what is happening with each breathe, you are choosing to walk away from the fantasies and old tapes in your head. Notice the kinds of thoughts that are coming up. Imagine opening up your hand and letting those thoughts go. They can be bubbles or clouds disappearing into the horizon. Loosen the grip and drop any judgements. These thoughts are no longer good or bad. Lean into observation and neutrality.

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2) Creativity: 
I keep a journal. I try to commit to sketching almost every day. When I draw, I have only one task. I must utilize my pen and focus on just one line, one shape, or one letter. I don’t have time to get carried away. When I am drawing people, I can’t be held back my anxiety. Creativity occupies my head and my hands. I am focused on the object or the person I am drawing. Nothing gets me back to the present moment like sketching does. Nothing slows down and silences the overly exaggerated thoughts in my head like having to work on a repeated pattern across the page.

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When you accept our present existence, you become more spiritually free and have more room for growth. You can carry around all these old wounds, let old sh*t agitate you, and feel sorry for yourself. You can cry about it. You can review the memories in your mind, in your journal and to all your friends. You choose to be a victim of your past or you can choose to create closure for yourself.

Remember: Just because something really sh*tty happened to you doesn’t mean that you have a sh*tty life.

So stop feeding into the old lies and giving your past the power to ruin your present moment. And, stop hanging out with people who love to bring up old hurts and lies and quit comparing yourself to others. Learn how to observe your past with more detachment and forgive yourself. It’s time for you to heal.

2 thoughts on “What is mindfulness?

  1. I like to split wood the old fashioned way with a maul. You cannot be unfocused when swinging an 8 pound hunk of metal over your head and then slamming it down on a round of wood. The maul must be part of you and you must connect with the wood. You must be focused. I do yoga, but this is also something I like to do to be in the moment.

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  2. Thanks for taking the time to read my latest story. Wow, I can only imagine what using a maul must be like. I like the thought of being so focused and connected. I am definitely very cautious when I use an ax in high intensity workouts. This sounds amazing!

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