In 2023, I hope each of you is able to set goals/intentions/resolutions/etc. and fill your own cup while doing so. We all know you can’t pour from an empty cup!
Here are the links to the rest of the series!
Reflection – 1/3/23
Rest – 1/6/23
Movement – 1/9
Rituals – 1/12
Connection – 1/16
Compassion – 1/19
Today’s post will be about “Mindfulness”
There are a lot of paths to mindfulness, and these are just a few thoughts about the topic in general.
Do you know what Mindful means?
The word mindful is defined as awareness. Sometimes this is ‘of the present moment.’ Here is the definition I like to use:
Mindfulness is being aware, in the present moment, of various thoughts, emotions, sensations, etc. that are going on within you and around you – without judging them.
Without judging them…that, my friends, seems to be the hard part. To stop judging, to be truly without judgment, we have to go against what the world tends to teach us. We have to practice. Some ideas:
Myths & Misconceptions about Mindfulness
Not only do we need to practice, but we need to challenge some of the thoughts that we have about what it means to be mindful. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about mindfulness:
- Meditation and mindfulness are the same thing.
- Some people use meditation to help them be more mindful, but you can be mindful about anything.
- In pre-school they used to tell us to use our ‘inside voices’ or to ‘think about what we say before we speak’ – both of these are part of mindfulness.
- Relaxation and mindfulness are synonyms.
- Many people report that they feel more relaxed when they are mindful.
- Relaxation is a sensation, while mindfulness is more a state of mind.
- There is a right way to practice mindfulness.
- The whole point of mindfulness is that there is no right way!
- Non-judgement, remember?!?
- Mindfulness is part of a religion.
- Mindfulness is not part of any particular religion – I would argue that it is part of all religions in different ways.
- Aspects of mindfulness are commonly associated with Buddhism, but there are a lot of kinds of Buddhism and for many, it is more of a philosophy than a religious practice.
- To be a mindful person, you have to be mindful all the time.
- No one can be mindful all of the time.
- No one should be mindful all the time – it is but one of many life experiences.
- If your mind is busy, you cannot be mindful.
- How many thoughts you have in no way impacts your mindfulness at any given moment.
- It is just noticing without judgment, not trying to stop your brain.
- Thoughts and emotions are distractions, not part of mindfulness.
- Some types of meditation or particular meditations might focus on thoughts or emotions – but for mindfulness, they are just as important.
- Mindfulness requires us to pay attention to thoughts and emotions, not ignore them.
- Mindfulness means clearing your mind.
- No one’s mind is ever totally clear.
- Even when we are not aware of it, like when we’re sleeping, our minds are working.
Do you have any other thoughts about mindfulness?