Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Does Mindful Mean?

I see many things discussed about this every day, and while some hit the mark, others miss it, and some do a drive-by.  Mindful has become a buzzword these days, and while some of that is good, there's a lot that is not helpful at the end of the day.

So I'll give you my take on it, and I'm sure some will disagree.  However, what I write will be from my own experience, and what I have learned in the healing work I've been a part of over the past decade.

What Does Mindful Mean?

First off, it has to do with the mind.

Second, in my view, it is a connection between the mind and the body.  This is probably the point in which I differ with many, but again, I am speaking from my own experience and knowledge.

Too often as humans, we live in our head.  Yes, physically we are attached to our bodies, but we are so disconnected from anything we feel there.  No, I'm not referring to the pain that you feel, but an overall sense of being disconnected.

Most of the time we go through our days not fully feeling what is going on in our bodies. We don't stop to check in.  We don't notice how shallow and ineffective our breathing is.  We don't stop to see how stress and tension are affecting our bodies.

We just go through our days as if it is one task to the next, oblivious to what the body feels.  Yes, we need to do this to function and get our tasks done, but we often forget to stop, step back, and slow down or rest.  We think that's only for a yearly vacation, a weekend, or when we sleep at night.

So, while we focus on the mind part of mindful, we usually blow right past the body part.  The body part is where most of it happens.  Check out more on the Enteric Brain to get a better sense of that.

While it is nice to take a walk in the park and notice all that is around us, or to see something we normally don't see in a day, mindfulness is more than that.  It is about seeing and feeling all of these things from deep within your body so that it resonates outward and upward to your mind.

Mindfulness is about finding peace through awareness of all parts of the body, not just what thoughts we derive and create in our mind.  You can reach a level of peaceful contentment in your mind with your thoughts, which can be very helpful, but without the body you're only embracing half of mindfulness.

With feeling more in your body and getting in touch with those deep corners and recesses within you, you'll find that there is more to the mind body connection.  The more you embrace this and feel it and sense it, the more mindful you will become.  You will enhance your overall experience.

While experiences in life, stressors, and other situations keep us in our heads and out of our bodies, it should be our goal to be more in touch with the physical sensations lying beneath the surface.  We don't have to ignore and disconnect from them.  We can experience them and in turn, bring more fulfillment and mindfulness to our lives.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
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