You’re sitting comfortably with your mindfulness practice. Time passes. A moment. Two? Who knows?
Suddenly you’re aware you’ve been mentally working on a grocery list…. Aargh.
But I have to tell you, your experience is sooo completely normal. As are all these 6 things you need to know.
I don’t have time.
Mindfulness is something you practice throughout your day. You don’t make time for it. You live your time in a mindful way.
In other words, as you sip your coffee, you’re aware you’re sipping your coffee, savouring the smell, the warmth of it etc. Riding the elevator? On a bus? Standing in line at the grocery store? Playing solitaire on your phone? When you stop and think about it, you'll suprise yourself how many moments you can find.
For sure, you can get more bang for your buck with informal or guided mindfulness meditation sessions. That’s something you can decide on later if it seems overwhelming at this stage.
Interested in finding ways for your mindfulness practice to become part of your routine? Get your free workbook now and learn how to set yourself up for success.
I can’t stop my mind from wandering.
Welcome to the human race.
I used to get upset with myself because my mind was wandering and I'd think, “I'm not doing this right! What's wrong with me?” It was such a huge relief to learn that a wandering mind is a normal thing.
So here’s the thing: each time your become aware that your mind has wandered you need to congratulate yourself.
Because you became aware in that moment that your mind had wandered. Hurrah! You’re developing your mental muscle to be present.
Becoming aware each time your mind wanders and gently bringing yourself back to the present is a huge win. With regular practice you’ll find your mind wanders less and less (but it’ll still happen…always does…for everybody).
You’ll also learn how and when to engage with those thoughts so your thoughts aren’t the boss of you.
This takes more work than I realized!
Yeah. Practicing mindfulness takes some effort. You should know, though, that the longer you practice it becomes easier. What makes it easier too is seeing and experiencing more and more benefits in your life.
I’m not doing as well as I think I should.
Are you expert at beating yourself up? Most of us are pretty darn good at it.
You’ll have ‘aha!’ moments and think mindfulness is the best thing ever.
You’ll also have moments you forget everything and jump right into old habits.
Try to remember to do this: Be kind to yourself. Be grateful for the progress you’ve made. Dust yourself off and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Or, to put it in mindfulness terms—one breath after the other.
Like I said, progress is not a straight line. You can be mindful one moment and then not the next. Credit yourself for your good efforts and hug yourself for when you are challenged
Being down on yourself will slow your progress; being kind to yourself opens your mind to progress.
I forget to practice.
That’s okay. New habits take awhile to instill.
So just remember that you’ll be most successful when you make your practice part of your daily routine.
Every time you change tasks you can take a couple of breaths before you move on. Every time you drink a glass of water you can associate that with following your breath, dropping in to see how you’re doing.
One of the reasons I created my mindful art is because you have an ongoing visual reminder to pause and breathe. Every reminder helps!
If you want tips and strategies to help you find your mindful moments over the day, you can get your free e-workbook.
I want to give up.
Well, if it’s any consolation, you’re normal.
Most of us have that thought when faced with challenging events or situations. Recognizing that it is normal may help you.
At the end of the day, try to remember that you're not trying to become somebody else. Your ability to be mindful is inherent.
Mindfulness activities uncover what already exists in us. As soon as you start practicing you’ve created an awareness that can’t be undone.
Everything moves forward from there, maybe not in a straight line, but very few things do in life.
You might also remind yourself that mindfulness is not a destination. You are mindful when you are mindful. You are already where you need to be.
If you’re at the stage of wanting to give up, it may be that you are at a stage where you need mindfulness most.
Don’t despair and don’t try to shove the feelings aside. A critical element of mindfulness is learning to be with your feelings in a kind and non-judgmental way.
Start small and add on
Are you feeling motivated? Think of it as mindfulness for beginners. Start small… find one regular routine in your day and start adding a few quiet breaths before or after that routine. You can build from there. Life is a journey. Your journey. Enjoy it. Live it. Love it.
I hope you benefited from this post. As a certified mindfulness instructor and certified Adult Training Designer/Manager I endeavour to share with you in ways that are readily digestible