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Mind

It’s A Woman Thing: A Minute for Mindfulness

 

Ever since the beginning of this New Year, it seems that everywhere I turn I see some reference to the concept of mindfulness.  My girlfriend gave me a coffee table book on “mindfulness,” I see references on Facebook about being mindful, my on-line book club selection of the month is all about being mindful!  Some would say that this is a coincidence.

However, my life experience and spiritual wisdom tells me it’s more.  My spiritual self knows that this in-my-face reference to mindfulness is the universe’s way of communicating with me that I need to incorporate mindfulness into my life!

As my wise “Angel Aunt” would say, “the Universe is going to hit you between the eyes with a 2x4 until you get the message!”

I think the universe is trying to tell me I need to be more mindful.  So, I’m trying to get the message, I am trying to be more mindful each day; taking the time to notice the morning sky when I am walking the dog, noticing the V-formation of a flock of Canada geese flying overhead, or just listening to the quiet and stillness in these early morning hours.

 

Your Mind On Calm

So, what is this supposed to do for me?  I do notice my heart rate slow down, I do feel a calmness and connection with nature and it is a good way to calm my mind rather than listen to the daily chatter of what I have to do! Mindfulness is a moment by moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and the surrounding environment.  According to Wikipedia, mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment.

One of the things I have learned in my spiritual exploration is the concept of the breath.  In our fast paced world and media crazed society, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy.  Maintaining a calendar, driving kids around, keeping track of their calendars, deciding what to fix for dinner, and the never ending scheduling, it’s hard not to fast forward and focus on the next challenge.  All of this future thinking, planning, and stressing takes you out of the moment and it’s not good for you!

Stress does terrible things to your heart, your mind, your skin.  Every part of your being pays a price.  This is where mindfulness comes in to play, and the fastest way to get present in the moment is to take a breath… and notice it. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. When you take that breath, the present moment is all you have…you cannot be in the future when you are in the “present!”

It does take some practice, but notice how with each breath your mind is in the moment.  It really is a gift and that is why it is called “present!”  The best news is that you can take it with you anywhere.  When standing in line at the grocery store, in line at the car wash, standing in the middle of your kid’s messy bedroom and you want to lose your mind!  Just breathe… and be in the moment, notice how you instantly relax and your mind is free… Try it.

What are your favorite “in the moment” moments?

Bridget Buckaloo

Bridget Buckaloo

Bridget Buckaloo, MSN, is Executive Director of Women's Health Services at Beebe Healthcare.