Mindfulness Tips Blog...
Life is precious. From the first breath we take to the last is truly a gift. I believe that children are more connected to this than adults. They are more open, curious and look at the world through the eyes of wonder and awe. There is a newness to everything they see and it's both wonderful and heartbreaking to see this.
We all were this way at some point. And the great news is, we can find ways to reconnect with this sense of wonder at how miraculous life is. It's how we're looking at life that makes a difference.
Some questions to help you shift from mindlessly moving through life to being living mindfully are:
Do we look at life through a lens of curiosity?
Do we look beyond the surface? Sometimes we label things and then dismiss them. Can we see the wonder of a tree, bird or flower?
Can we see the preciousness of every moment, every breath, every contact we have with life?
Can we do it with reverence, with forgiveness for the times we're caught up in reactivity, fighting and resisting the way life is?
Life is both joy, sorrow, gladness, generosity, compassion and more...
Sometimes we relate to life as if it's a commodity. Some people have material commodities some don't. I say that we sometimes tend to look at the world through the lens of material wealth, status, education and superficial beauty. It's nice to have things. It's great to be physically fit and have good looks. When we hang on to material things and build our identity around them we experience a limited version of life. There are so many moments that are priceless and yet when we are either climbing the ladder of success, accumulating more "things", trying to get somewhere else that's "easier, more comfortable, less painful" we miss out. What we are missing out on is huge! It's called LIFE!
Life isn't a Ladder of Success...
Life is an experience. Pausing to connect with the breath and body will bring you into direct contact with the truth of this. And this is what I am talking about. Watch a child or even animals and you will see the curiosity that is there. The moments where they pause to breathe, feel and take in the world through their senses. Or when something catches their attention and they explore it as if it is a priceless jewel or a fascinating gift. They experience true connection, know they have a body, feel their feelings and express the full gamut of emotions. To live is to experience all of this. As adults we get so caught up in thinking, pursuing and doing that we forget to live, to just be! There is good news! We make time to reconnect with the wonder and preciousness of life.
Some ways to practice mindfulness and connect with this precious life...
“I am sure it is everyone’s experience, as it has been mine, that any discovery we make about ourselves or the meaning of life is never, like a scientific discovery, a coming upon something entirely new and unsuspected; it is rather, the coming to conscious recognition of something, which we really knew all the time. WH Auden
When you're out in nature, stand still, feel your feet connected to the earth, feel the breeze on your skin. There are studies that show 20 minutes in nature can be restorative and healing. It's actually a healthy and necessary connection. We all need it for our physical, emotional and mental health!
Listen to the sounds around you, let go of doing and ground yourself in this moment by listening. If it's silent listen to the silence. Even then there is sound or vibration that comes and goes.
If you go for a walk engage in acts of generosity. Take bread crumbs to feed the ducks or birds. Look and smile at passerbys. It doesn't matter whether they smile back. Again, acts of generosity are done without expecting anything in return. It is compassion training for the heart.
If you see someone struggling, if possible give them a helping hand. That includes yourself! Sometimes we are the ones that are struggling and we don't even see it! So make sure to include yourself when doing acts of kindness. I say this refills your love tank!
Set aside time to put down all mobile devices and connect with loved ones. I have seen groups of people in restaurants that put their cell phones face down in the middle of the table and make it a point to focus on connecting with each other. It is heartwarming to see this! An intentional act to connect with others helps us make space for that heart to heart connection that is so much a part of life.
If you are tired rest, if you are hungry eat, if you are restless go for a walk. Tune into what is needed in the body. Sometimes we live in our heads for much of the day we forget we have a body and a heart. Intentionally pausing during your day to attune to what's needed is an act of self care and an act of love.
Until next time...be well
Cindy Ricardo is a compassionate and experienced Psychotherapist, Gentle Yoga Teacher and Mindfulness Meditation Guide. She facilitates a Dharma/Meditation Circle in Weston and Coral Springs alternatively, 3 times a month at 11am on Sundays. Her focus is on helping others learn about peaceful practices that help cultivate insight, connect with wisdom and awaken the compassionate heart. For more information about her please visit acaringcounselor.com, contact her at 954 793 6442 or email her at wbmindfulness.