Mindfulness Takes Practice

Recently a friend came to me and asked if I could guide them in learning some mindfulness and meditation practices. I was caught off guard because I feel like I need a meditation teacher. I’m always jumping through thoughts and very excitable. But my friend knows that I try to meditate, even for just one minute, every day.

Obviously, I’ve never seen meditation as something I’m good at. However, I think many people think that they’re failing when they’re actually doing a good job. The idea isn’t to just sit there and chant or to expect your mind to be completely empty. It’s to see  things come up and not to engage in the thoughts, to let them pass. You want to watch your thoughts like you might watch clouds go by. Recognize that you are thinking this or that and then let it go.

Let it go. Those three little words. It seems so easy and can just be so hard.

It’s not easy. Letting things drop is a difficult skill, but that’s exactly the skill you develop by practicing meditation and mindfulness. So whatever you’re doing, washing dishes, eating pizza, writing a report, talking to friends, practice letting all those random thoughts and whatnots pass by. Pay attention to what you are actually doing at the moment.

Mindfulness takes practice. And there are a lot of ways to practice, below are some ideas to get you started:
– Play I spy with friends (or by yourself!)
– Do a physical inventory and check in with how each part of your body feels
– Take a deep breath (and do it again and again)
– Smell, look at and listen to your surroundings
– Really look at people and notice what they’re wearing and how their hair looks
– Stargaze and recognize where you are

Tell me about you meditation and mindfulness practices in the comments below.

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