Do you take time to smell the roses? In
those moments when you bend your head to the rose, take in a deep breath and inhale
the scent, you enter the zone of mindfulness. Your full attention is upon the
beauty, scent and surroundings of that rose. Being immersed in the experience places
you and your senses in present moment awareness. With no judgments, distractions
or striving toward some future objective, you zoom in and take it all in. A
“mindful meditation” can be as simple as smelling a rose.
Mindfulness is described
as maintaining a present moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily
sensations and surrounding environment without judging them. It enables you to
become an objective observer—a witness to “what is” instead of judging the past
or feeling anxious about the future.
This skill is one of the
most important skills you can develop on your journey into wellness. Mindfulness
has taught me to
climb out of the problem and observe it;
listen with an open mind, body and heart; and
allow my intuition to lead me to the right solutions for me.
Asthma, cancer and atrial
fibrillation were the significant health challenges that taught me to be mindfully
aware. In moments of “witnessing,” I was able to get clear about what may have
contributed to the illnesses and what lifestyle changes would help me get well.
My insights led to expanded self-awareness, and my research led me to the
professionals and protocols responsible for my current level of health and
Embrace a Lifestyle of Mindfulness
Mindfulness exercises enable you
to develop the skill of being aware with an open mind in the present moment as incessant
thinking about the past and future fall away. If you take half a minute to
notice your breathing with all of your senses, your body relaxes and your thinking
mind rests. Savoring your favorite food, looking at a sunset or noticing the
aliveness in your hands—all of these are mindful meditations. These exercises
can last for 30 seconds or 30 minutes. In either case, you are training your
mind to be still and aware and allowing your “feel good” chemicals to increase.
The act of being mindful trains the mind
to be open instead of making critical judgments and resisting the situation as
it exists. In moments of awareness, you are able to detach from a problem,
remove the emotional charge and see things clearly. Mindfulness also promotes
relaxation, a natural stress reducer.
As you develop this skill, expanded
awareness becomes a part of your decision making process. It enables you to
make wise decisions because you are able to listen with a clear mind and remain
open to possibilities. Your body, emotions, thoughts, relationships
and lifestyle are always sending you messages about what is working
for you and what is not working. When you tune in, observe and assess, your
intuition and instincts surface and help you take the “right” action for you.
Add a positive attitude to this
awareness, and you will become unstoppable in accomplishing the outcomes you
want. Take some time to play with mindful exercises
and notice how they make you feel. You might even make them a habit and be
surprised at how your health, well-being and life improve.