“At first, mindfulness can seem like an intangible concept. However, practising mindfulness is, quite simply, the act of concentrating on your breathing, being aware of your breath and being aware of what is going on around you in the present moment. The more you do it, the more the simplicity of it becomes clear and the benefits manifold. It lightens the mind and the spirit.”
And that quote quite eloquently sums up why I practice mindfulness. At the beginning of the year I wrote a 2016 New Years Goals Post in which I listed 5 things I want and hope for this year. The one I’ve been struggling with the most is IT’S OK TO NOT BE OKAY and not having to be switched ON all of the time. The power of now and living in the moment is something that has been playing on my mind a lot recently, sometimes I get so caught up on the next goal or adventure I actually forget to enjoy the here and now.
And that’s where this book steps in, The Little Book Of Mindfulness is a little pocket rocket I’m telling you! I keep it in my bag at all times and whenever I have a free moment, mostly train journeys, I get out the book and have a read. I’ve found it great as a beginner as it’s an easy read and you can open it up at any page and get going. It can sometimes be intimidating if you’re beginning a new path and the books you’re reading are overly dense filled with words that sometimes you don’t understand. Starting off with something quite ‘light’ makes it a whole lot easier and I can move on to books that are a little more complex once I’ve got the basics.
It has powerful quotes and easy tasks to complete to enhance your mindfulness practice. So far I’ve completed the ‘Breathing To Relax’ exercise, outside a train station when I was waiting for a friend who was running late. It’s all about focusing on the breath and slowing it down, doing this instantly relaxes you and it does actually work,
‘A deeply relaxed person breathes around seven times a minute.’
If a stressful situation arises or something hasn’t quite gone as I expected I try and remove myself from the situation for a couple of minutes and just breathe and be present, re-focusing on the breath instantly calms me down and I can go back to finding the perfect solution. Although removing yourself from a situation is not always possible, just remember to slow down the breathing, over time it becomes easier to ride the waves and adapt to change.
So sometimes when things aren’t ok just take the time you need to look after yourself and value that time, that’s what I’ve been learning.
I hope this post doesn’t come across as preachy it’s more about my personal journey, I’m still figuring out what I’m actually doing when it comes to all of this. I remember in my third year at university I read an article about mindfulness and I thought it was a load of crap to be perfectly honest, I didn’t understand it and I judged it before actually giving it a go.
Along with meditation, which I’ve taken up again too, I’m learning the value of being present and taking each day as it comes. It’s a powerful tool to remember where we are.
Let me know if you’ve read this book or if you have any suggestions of other things I could read on mindfulness or meditation.