Being raised Roman Catholic, I was taught at a very early age that if I even thought about rolling my eyes behind my mother’s back I would have a black mark on my soul.
I was constantly evaluating myself based on whether I was having good thoughts or bad thoughts. Whenever I had a bad thought I felt like a bad person.
Mindfulness meditation has helped me realize I am not my thoughts.
The truth is that the mind is constantly thinking thoughts. Some are helpful while others are not.
Mindfulness meditation invites us to notice thoughts without judgment, in a more neutral way. We observe thoughts without clinging or rejecting. We notice a thought, let it go, and come back to the breath.
Over time, we can train the mind to more quickly let go of negative thoughts. I call this “cowgirl mindfulness”. As soon as a “bad” thought comes into my mind I shoot it. POW!
This makes me chuckle and keep my sense of humor as I continue to take steps along my mindful path.
With the pace of life these days we’ve been trained to expect everything to happen fast.
What do you do when your computer takes too long to boot up? Or when you’re on a website and it’s clocking?
These can be opportunities to pause. “Do” nothing. Try being.
Pay attention to your breathing. Follow the air moving in and out.
You may notice a thought like, “this stupid computer”. Or a feeling like frustration.
Let it go. Breathe in. Breathe out.
It is possible to retrain your mind. Booting or clocking can be your cue to bring your awareness to your breathing.
This is mindfulness meditation.
See if you can focus on the experience of your morning coffee (or tea).
Aware of the smell as you open the jar. Notice the sound of the coffee dripping into the pot. Be present for the taste of that first sip. Feel the warmth of the mug in your hands.
Try to be present in the moment.
Notice the urge to do other things like boot up your computer or send a text message. See if you can just sit down and drink your coffee.
Aware of the mind rushing into the day. Perhaps your thoughts are already about being in the office.
Take a breath and come back to the present moment. Just drink your coffee.
Allow yourself to take in the experience.
You will likely enjoy your coffee more. And these few mindful moments will help you approach the day feeling more balanced.
I recently presented at the Connecticut Women’s Conference and wanted to share one of my presentations with you.
Taming Your Monkey Mind will help you bring mindfulness into your day in a simple, practical way.
It will help you lower your stress level, keep calm, maintain focus, and be happier.
Are you a millennial or do you know one? This article really spoke to me since I have two children who are part of the Attention Deficit Disorder Generation.
I was interviewed for the article and am quoted at the very end. Hope you find this story enlightening.