So what is this mindfulness that we hear so much about? The Webster Dictionary says:
Very different from meditation, which is about quieting the mind, mindfulness is about noticing all that is present, even our thoughts. As you have noticed, our thoughts can very effectively demand all of our attention, pulling our focus away from all else happening around us. Our thoughts can seem so pressing that we can miss the little things (or big) that are the things that create the most joy in our life.
Yesterday, on my hike on the trails near my home, I was in complete pleasure at the ability to be outside in exquisite weather, sunny and breezy, in Texas Hill Country with sage and rabbits and that blissful solitude that only nature can provide. Then without even noticing it happening, my mind became immersed in the thoughts that come in. You know the ones – the calls that need to be made, the bill that needs to be paid, the dry cleaning that needs to be picked up, the client that needs some extra attention, the office that needs to be organized, the project that needs to be completed – yesterday! …. blah, blah, blah.
And then I noticed my body in reaction to the thoughts. My pace had slowed down. My legs literally moved slower. While I new on an intellectual level that thoughts can be an energy drain leading to exhaustion or the opposite, creating anxiety. But this was a visceral awareness of how my body could not function to normal capacity when I was so deeply engaged in thoughts that were pulling my energy down…that feeling of not ever being able to get it all done. In that moment, I allowed the thoughts to disperse and came back into the moment, into the mindfulness zone. My pace increased, and I became aware again of the sun and the breeze and the beauty around me.
How often do you allow your thoughts to steal your ability to be present to the beauty in your life? I invite you to be mindful of your thoughts and notice when they are pulling you away from your peace, joy and passions. And enjoy the results of your more purposeful awareness!