Mindfulness For the Rest Of Us
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the word mindfulness. It’s thrown around all over the place. I met an awesome parent recently who has not heard of the term before. As we started talking they immediatelyassociated it with buddhist monks chanting. Certainly that’s part of it, but, that’s not where we’re going today. To break it down to the simplest explanation mindfulness is slowing down and paying attention.
We can ALL learn how to slow down and pay attention. Yes, my anxious, mind-wandering-a-million-miles-per-second, to-do listing friend, even you.
The most basic and powerful mindfulness practice you can start at this very moment is to simply notice your breath.
Once you get a sense for what your breath is doing Ask yourself these 2 questions without judgement:
- What is the rhythm or quality of my breath?
- What sensations do I feel?
- Rhythm/Quality: Choppy, slow and then fast, I hold it at the top
- Sensations: I feel the wind going out of my nose gently caressing my nose hairs, the slight tickle as the air brushes the top of my lip. My lungs are expanding and deflating. My shirt delicately grazing my skin underneath.
That’s it. How did you do? Do you feel any differently after taking the space to slow down and pay attention? Mindfulness has the potential to ease suffering in many areas of our modern lives.
If you're intrigued and ready to dig a little deeper I'd love to share an app that's great for newbies without a lot of fluff. It’s called Headspace. The first 10 days are free. They go into detail the process of simply setting up a practice and the science of why in the world this is good for us.
4 ways to include your kids in the mindfulness fun
- Have everyone close their eyes. Ring a bell and keep eyes closed until the sound stops.
- Lay on the ground and place something small on your belly. Watch how it rises and falls.
- Feel your chest for your heartbeat. Then everyone run, dance, jump, spin, and feel your heartbeat again. Notice the difference. Then take your favorite calming yoga pose (mine’s child’s pose) and observe the heartbeat slowing down.
- Change your breath. Inhale fast 6 times like a bunny through your nose. Then exhale the same way. Switch it up to long exhale through your mouth like blowing out birthday candles. Then inhale through your nose like you're smelling a lovely rose.
To your greatness!!!!