"Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz
Whenever I think of the term, "practicing mindfulness", I think of washing dishes. I think of feeling the warm, sudsy water on my hands and I think of how the soapy suds smell and how the dishes feel. I think about the texture of the dish rag in my hand and the sound of the water running over the dishes as I rinse the soap off of them.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, and reflecting on all the sensations and thoughts you have regarding what you are doing at that very moment. Instead of washing the dishes and thinking about what you have to do after you are done the dishes, mindfulness requires that we don't think about the past events or the future plans. Mindfulness expects that we are living in that very moment, experiencing it in all it's glory.
I was watching The Oprah Show the other day, and she made a commitment to be fully present during each and every show (it's her last season of her TV program) and to be "with" each and every guest she has on her show. What she in fact is talking about is mindfulness. She is going to be mindful in terms of paying close attention to her guests and not letting her thoughts about other things get in the way of her fully experiencing the moment. I was very impressed when Oprah said that. I know the importance of being mindful and how much peace and joy it can bring.
Check out the article called, "Mindfulness Exercises - Everyday Mindfulness Exercises for Stress Relief" to get some more ideas on things you can do to practice mindfulness: http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/exercises.htm
Practice being mindful today and see how it feels for you.
Have a great day!
~ Angela Gentile