Becoming present, and giving your full attention to what you're experiencing through your senses, is a form of mindfulness that can be integrated into everyday activities, like brushing your teeth, watering your plants, showering, walking, etc.
Being fully in the present moment, and tapped into what we're seeing, feeling, tasting, hearing, and smelling helps us to feel more connected to the world around and within us, helping to cultivate a sense of peace.
Mindfulness, to me, goes much deeper than connecting to your senses. Even more powerful is becoming aware of your inner experience - your thinking, emotions, core beliefs, etc. that are driving your behaviors and overall experience of life.
I mentioned that I recently reached a powerful insight; here's what happened.
After an emotionally challenging experience of helping out my parents, who were both unwell at the time, I returned to my place alone.
I had been home for about an hour when I had an “experience”. I had been crying on and off and thinking about how challenging it must be for them to navigate everything that comes with the aging process.
I had felt flooded with fear of the unknown.
But in that moment, a “knowing” rushed through my body, with a message. And that message was, “It’s not happening right now!”
It literally felt like time stopped in that moment. I realized that I was still living in that moment with my parents, even though time had passed, and I was no longer in their presence.
I saw in that moment that I had been pulling forward the experience I was having hours earlier into my present moment, allowing it to take over my thinking, emotions, and behaviors.
I had gotten lost in a STORY about what was happening.
It was almost like a switch had been flipped and all the stories – my thinking – went quiet.
I took a deep breath and found my body, here in my calm and safe home. There was music playing, which I had been unaware of moments before, when I was living in my head. I looked around me, taking in my surroundings and then looking out the window at the world outside.
As I was having these realizations, I watched as my thinking tried to jump in, telling me it was selfish to "be okay" when my parents were struggling. But because awareness was also flooding in and I was AWAKE, I was able to see it for what it was - old, unhelpful programming.
Present-moment Me was able to see that in no way is it helpful to anyone to maintain feelings of fear, grief, and sadness – to extend those emotions beyond what is natural and necessary.
I asked myself, “Is it helpful to pity, to worry, to wish for different? No. It is a natural, normal part of life.
The energy of emotion is meant to be experienced, fully + completely.
But then, it’s meant to pass, as we move into the next moment, the next experience, and the next emotion.
When we keep what we’re feeling alive with what we’re thinking, the emotion gets stored within, where the mind will pull it back up again + again when there’s no need or benefit to do so.
With an intention to be present in each moment, noticing when you've gotten hooked by the stories in your mind, you get to experience the peace that is here NOW, instead of getting lost in the pain that often comes from your thinking.
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Bobbi Beuree, Certified CAN Coach + Facilitator is located Nova Scotia and provides interactive 1:1 coaching services, as well as group coaching events.