We don’t have to be a master of anything in our lives to experience the benefits of mindfulness. I remember when I became aware of the fact that I wanted to be more mindful. I wanted zen in my life. I wanted Peace within my heart and my soul. I wanted to get my feng shui going on, in my home, in my body and in my mind. I wanted balance. I wanted to feel in control, and to be able to unplug as needed. I knew that I needed to learn how to apply mindfulness to everything I did, all day and every day.
So here I went on my journey to becoming more mindful. I sat down with my journal, and I started writing down things I wanted. I looked in the book store for books or magazines about the power of mindfulness. I read blogs. I looked online for ways to be more mindful. I started practicing the suggested methods I found, all the strategies that I read about, and I made sure to make time daily for practicing to reduce my stress and increase my gratitude, forgiveness and peace within, so as to achieve my ability to become more mindful.
I admit, I quickly realized that I was not perfect, and I did not always succeed in being mindful, and on many occasions, I was anything but mindful. I wasn't meditating, or practicing my breathing. I wasn't making myself aware of my constant surroundings. I wasn't developing the habit of being aware of what was actually happening in each moment, within me, through me, and around me and I didn't always have the ability to NOT judge myself, whether it be good or bad. But I did know one thing, I wanted to have peace within myself and I wanted to find my balance, and I wanted to become more mindful.
One constant for me in my life, is my love of doTERRA Essential Oils, and I knew that through aromatherapy, and topical use of my beautiful oils, I could certainly help myself with the grounding and balancing that I was looking for, so that I could become more mindful and find my daily inner peace. Of course there was plenty of self criticism as I continued to bash myself for not always being mindful, or for losing my patience with my children, or for feeling annoyed with my friends sometimes.
But here is something I learned with using my oils. Apply a drop of Bergamot and a drop of Black Pepper to the tip of your nose and the back of your neck. Black Pepper helps break up unloving thought patterns, while Bergamot helps to re-establish a sense of self worth.
One thing I have learned about becoming more mindful, is to pause, to focus, and to stop! I learned that when I stop what I am doing, no matter where I am, and I say silently to myself "Listen, listen to the sound of your breath, listen to your heart beating, listen to your surrounding sounds", then that brings me back to my true self. Another way to aid in the focus of your ability to calm and listen, is to diffuse Sandalwood and Myrrh which will help the mind focus and become free of negative thoughts. Then, have yourself stop and sit and breathe.
This has helped with my development of mindfulness and the aromatherapy has helped me to acheive my ability to balance my mind, and to calm myself, and to sit and breathe.
So here is another tip in acquiring a sense of peace and calm, and alleviating anxious feelings during stressful situations. Citrus oils are remarkable in clearing brain receptor sites and reducing stress. Just apply a drop or two of a citrus oil, or a floral oil such as Lavender, and take a few deep breaths of the aroma. A whiff of Wild Orange or Citrus Bliss or Bergamot or Lavender, will reduce anxious feelings and assist in lowering stress levels. A few drops on the palm of your hands, rub together and inhale deeply! Then wipe the remaining oil over the back of your neck or chest.
So, What is Mindfulness?
At its essence, mindfulness is truly about being fully present with your current experiences and accepting them as they are. It’s a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, except for the annoying fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or we are fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Yet no matter how far we drift away, mindfulness is right there to snap us back to where we are and what we’re doing and feeling. If you want to know what mindfulness is, it’s best to try it for a while. Since it’s hard to nail down in words, you will find slight variations in the meaning in books, websites, audio, and video.
While mindfulness is innate, it can be created within us, and focused on, as in being mindful of how we are particularly seated, walking, standing, and moving, by practicing short pauses that we insert into everyday life; and also merging meditation practice with other activities, such as yoga or sports.
How to Get Started With Mindfulness Practices
The most important step for me in becoming more mindful, was to set aside time – as little as ten minutes – for daily formal practice. Getting started on your own can be tough, so I recommend setting aside time to practice. For me, being mindful includes finding ways to be more zen, finding simple strategies and meditations to increase your sense of awareness in your everyday life, seeking ways to engage your body and mind as one, and simply put, just making your free time count for you.
Informal mindfulness practices can be woven into your day as well – finding opportunities to take a few deep breaths and bring yourself fully to the moment; taking a few moments of gratitude before you eat; turning your phone on “do not disturb” before a meeting or call, and grounding yourself in a few breaths before you begin; and even using daily occurrences as cues to breathe, such as every time you stop at a red light.
When we meditate it doesn’t help to fixate on the benefits, but rather to just do the practice, and yet there are benefits or no one would do it. When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.
Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.
The following is a great list of things that I find helpful when I am working towards being more mindful. This list has been extremely important for me to consistently work on myself, my goals, my peace withing, and my ability to be aware of my own mindfulness.A Few Things to Know About Mindfulness:
1) Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic. It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names.
2) Mindfulness is not a special added thing we do. We already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. But we can cultivate these innate qualities with simple practices that are scientifically demonstrated to benefit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, the people we work with, and the institutions and organizations we take part in
3) You don’t need to change. Solutions that ask us to change who we are or become something we’re not have failed us over and over again. Mindfulness recognizes and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings.
4) Mindfulness has the potential to become a transformative social phenomenon. Here’s why:
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