Getting Started with Mindfulness
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment. Non-judgement, curiosity, detachment, equanimity, and compassion are mindfulness strategies to help you see more clearly and really be with what is happening in any given moment without old, habitual and reactive patterns.
Mindfulness can be applied to whatever you are doing- talking, sitting, standing, washing dishes, driving a car. A common misunderstanding of mindfulness is that one must feel peaceful or be calm to experience mindfulness, or that they should accept a difficult or painful situation and not be bothered by it. But this is not so. With mindfulness, you don’t have to feel, be, do, or think anything that goes against you or is different than how you actually feel in the moment. Mindfulness is more about paying attention and seeing clearly. It’s a tool for really observing what is happening, and a practice that can deepen your connection with yourself. It can put you directly in touch with the very fact that you don’t feel peaceful or calm, or that your mind can’t stop thinking about the past or planning for the future. And this noticing is everything- being in touch with yourself in this way helps you to recognize when you need to take a minute to calm your mind, or say no to someone, or walk away from a stressful situation. Mindful self-awareness supports you in making choices and decisions that support your higher good.
Mindfulness is being used increasingly across medical, educational, and therapeutic settings because it is both simple and effective.
The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes.
My Journey to Mindfulness
Mindfulness has had a big impact on my life, personally and professionally. I began my mindfulness studies in earnest in 2006, after reading Tara Brach’s book Radical Acceptance. Mindfulness, for me, was a revelation, and I began attending silent mindfulness meditation retreats and devouring books on mindfulness in my own quest for healing and transformation.
The powerful shifts from the simple yet profound practice of mindfulness that I experienced inspired me to share this practice in my work with clients. Mindfulness is so powerful, yet simple and accessible- anyone can learn and benefit from mindfulness, and carry it with them as a tool for life.