What does it mean to be mindful? This is a question I come back to a lot on my own, and also one that my clients ask me often. There are so many ways to be mindful and to meditate, and there is not a one size fits all for any person. The key to living in the moment and learning to be more present can come from starting with the little things. Enjoying your coffee in the morning, taking a ten-minute walk after work, combing your hair and washing your face before bed. It is easy to go through the motions- it is harder to do these things with intention. Taking five extra minutes to sit down when drinking your coffee and not sipping it as you rush out the door. Taking a walk without your phone and paying attention to the beauty and nature around you, instead of making an internal list of what you need to do when you are back. Combing your hair and washing your face and recognizing that this is a way you care for yourself, instead of rushing through it because you feel its another thing that needs to be done.
We can so easily live out of habit instead of out of intent. Being able to stay in the present and make changes requires this intention, and being able to live in the present (or be more mindful!) is what leads us to feeling happier and more content with our life. It can feel overwhelming to feel like we have to be mindful all of the time. When clients come to me and want to start being more present, I always remind them to start small. Form habits and create the time in your day to enjoy what is and just be. Being able to implement this will lead to more lasting change and present moment awareness. Even as a therapist, being mindful is something I am always trying to work at and implement into my life more. Paying attention to what I need and what feels right is important as well and has helped me to take more time for myself and think about what I want for my life in a more intentional way. “The Mindfulness Journal” by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport is a great way to help with the process of becoming more mindful and can help with beginning to create that habit into your daily life and practice. I highly recommend this to anyone who is wanting to be more present, aware, grateful and intentional.