Mindfulness: What is it?

A very simply way to understand mindfulness is that it is a practice of placing your attention on what is happening in the present moment. Mindfulness is the cultivation of being where you are not where your mind takes you.  Our minds move from the past to the present to the future with no conscious effort on our part.  Just sit for one minute and observe your thoughts.  Your mind may go to something you will do after work or is anticipating having a dinner with a friend or the angry feelings left from this morning argument with a partner.  Most people’s minds are undisciplined meaning they go wherever with no awareness of these internal shifts.  Learning to be mind full means choosing to place your awareness or attention on what is happening in front of your eyes.  Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere anytime.  It is at the heart of self change.  Choosing to enter into therapy, hopefully, is something you want to do for yourself rather than do for someone else.

If you decide to practice mindfulness you will learn also to be:

Non-Judgmental means looking at the facts only not your opinions or placing a value on the facts of liking or not liking.

Patience means you are allowing whatever it is unfold on its own without controlling, demanding, manipulating whatever it is by you.

Trusting means knowing what is true for you and not relying on an expert or someone in authority to tell you what to do.  In a word, being responsible for what you think, feel and do 100 percent.

Non-Striving means the focus is not on a goal, achievement but being you in this moment without attaching some end point in the future.

Accepting means allowing yourself to be as you are without forcing someone else’s agenda onto yourself or conforming to some external situation to the way you wish things to be.  This type of acceptance frees up the energy for healing.

Letting Go means becoming aware of holding onto pleasant as well as painful feelings and thoughts, also denial of feelings and thoughts as a way to teach yourself that change is happening all the time.  All things change even if we cannot see the change happening. Everything is impermanent.