Paying attention focused on the present moment in a non-judgmental way is the essence of mindfulness.
I attended a mindfulness seminar once and didn’t last 30 minutes before I raised my hand and admitted I have tried it and I cannot do it.
Surprisingly, many others then chimed in and admitted the same thing.
Mindfulness does not have to mean meditation if you cannot or do want to meditate.
This was empowering and here’s what I have discovered since that seminar two years ago.
- Being mindful can be as simple as leaning forward and looking another person in the eye while they talk and you listen.
- Or turning off digital devices and rejoining the world. You may blame Millennials for losing themselves in their digital devices but, really, everyone does it today. A conscious decision on when to go digital and when to go analog (so to speak) aids practical mindfulness.
- Not having an opinion right away encourages mindfulness. Full confession: this one is going to kill me. But, I have seen progress. I have begun to learn how to delay judgmental responses long enough to actually be able to repeat in my mind what the other person is saying. Previously, I jumped in, interrupted or laid in wait to give my take.
What I learned from the seminar was just trying to be mindful in ways like I have discovered above, is mindfulness that actually works and everyone can do it.
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