Years ago my shrink told me I should practice mindfulness.
No kidding–it’s not a trite concept and it’s not pop-psychology babble.
It works–mindfulness is a valid healing practice. How do I know this?
Having had a severe cold for one week was no joy. As I started to be on the mend I was able to do things. This inspired me to have a weekly mindfulness practice and to make mindfulness a daily habit too.
You don’t have to read a 300-page book on this topic.
Just read this one sentence: Mindfulness at its heart is simply paying attention to what you’re doing and not doing things on autopilot.
That’s all it is.
Thinking about mindfulness can conjure up meditation or another behavior that seems hard to implement successfully.
The truth is–there is no right or wrong way to do or to practice anything–just the way that works for you.
In terms of mindfulness, it can help to focus on the 5 W’s: the who, what, where, when, and why of what’s happening in your life at this particular moment.
Thich Nhat Hanh a famous monk author uses the classic example of washing dishes with awareness of what you’re doing.
Feel the plate and sponge in your hand. See and listen to the water.
Really experience what you’re doing instead of doing it mindlessly.
To this end I’ve started a mindfulness practice.
I was motivated to do this by the simple act of washing my makeup brushes when I had gotten over the severe cold.
Simply washing makeup brushes with care and attention can spark joy.
The truth is, if what you’re doing doesn’t spark joy and you don’t have to do it–I say stop doing it.
Stop doing busywork and start doing the things that are important to you and align with your values.
I’ve come to see the beauty and benefit of practicing mindfulness.
For women, I recommend hand washing bras and washing makeup brushes 1x/per week.
When I decided to practice mindfulness it was like I was hit on the head with a piano falling from the roof of a building in a TV cartoon.
It occurred to me that mindfulness begets mendfulness. That to mind what we do can be the first step to mend what’s not working.
I for one don’t want to live my life on autopilot anymore.