Mindfulness in a Minute:
by Jean Leonard, Ph.D., RYT
Licensed Psychologist and Registered Yoga Teacher
Mindfulness offers an invitation to pay attention to our present moment experience, with kindness and curiosity. Mindfulness invites us to pause and connect with whatever is happening right NOW. Pausing offers us an opportunity to be more fully alive – to really be present for our experience. This can feel like a radical act in our busy fast-paced lives. Many people say, “I don’t have time to slow down and be mindful.” However, rushing through life comes with costs – in the form of exhaustion, stress related illness and health challenges, strained relationships, and feelings of depression, anxiety or overwhelm.
Slowing down and being present enhances the possibility of responding more skillfully to difficulties. We also are more able to savor that which is delightful in our lives. Many people describe a sense of feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and frazzled in our busy, chaotic, information age world. How many times have you sat down to a delicious meal only to finish the last bite and wonder “who ate my dinner?” Or had tickets to a magnificent concert, only to have been distracted much of the night by worries about your teenager, barely hearing a note?
There are many ways to incorporate the benefits of mindfulness into your life and they can begin with just a minute, or even a moment. As the list, “6 tips for bringing mindfulness into daily life” illustrates, the possibility to be present lies in any ordinary moment. No matter how distracted you may have been, it is possible to pause, take a breath and come back to the present. I invite you to begin experimenting with using those “empty” moments where you feel your time is being “wasted” as windows of opportunity to connect with your experience. And see what happens. You might find that ordinary moments can actually be quite extraordinary.
If these experiments in mindfulness spark your interest, I invite you to come learn more about how mindfulness can support you in navigating the ups and downs of life by attending one of my free introductory sessions for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction