Photo: BijaB – Chair at Starved Rock, 2016
What is Mindfulness?
If you’re paying attention to the latest trends, you’ll know that the popularity of “mindfulness” is exploding. But what does mindfulness actually mean?
Maybe mindfulness is simply the process of actively noticing new things. When you do that, it puts you in the present.
Practicing Mindfulness Meditation for Yourself and Others
To me, being mindful means you’re paying attention. You’re focusing on the present moment.
Practicing mindfulness means being aware of what you’re doing. And you remember more about what you’ve done. You’re more creative. You can take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. You like people better. And they like you better, because you have more energy, are more charismatic, and you’re paying attention to who they are and what they’re doing.
Even being aware of your thoughts and feelings in your everyday life—is mindfulness.
Why Practice Mindfulness?
I believe that mindfulness practice is about full engagement and having moment to moment awareness. When you have physical energy, emotional connection, mental focus, and the ability to tap into a deeper level of conscious awareness—all at the same time—you are fully engaged. You have memory, attention, health, even longevity. These are just some of the benefits of mindfulness, and the results of being mindful of yourself and everything that’s happening around you.
Says social psychologist Dr. Ellen Langer, “No matter what you’re doing — eating a sandwich, doing an interview, working on some gizmo, writing a report — you’re doing it mindfully or mindlessly. When it’s the former, it leaves an imprint on what you do.”
“At the very highest levels of any field—Fortune 500 CEOs, the most impressive artists and musicians, the top athletes, the best teachers and mechanics — you’ll find mindful people, because that’s the only way to get there.”
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