Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present—aware of where we are and what we are doing, in whatever activity or task we are involved. We take ourselves into whatever we do and wherever we go, so every moment becomes an opportunity to be mindful.
Whenever we bring awareness to what we are directly experiencing via our body and senses, or to our state of mind through our thoughts and emotions, we are being mindful. More and more research on this phenomenon shows that when we train our brain to be mindful, we are actually changing how our brain works.
Mindfulness is a quality of relaxed alertness. It is important to learn to suspend judgment and self-criticism for purer awareness to prevail. Although we all have this innate ability, it often takes learning certain skills and practices to increase our ability to be mindful and get out of our own way.
As we learn to quiet the mind and the body, to allow spaciousness and ease within us, we can begin to explore and understand the patterns that often drive us, in a much deeper, non-judgmental way. We can begin to let go and grow less attached to the myriad of distractions around us and within us, leading to a deeper understanding of ourselves, a reduction in stress and the ability to cultivate a more balanced approach to living.
Gayle Felbain, certified teacher in the Alexander Technique and Mindfulness Meditation Facilitator, has been teaching for the past 35 years. Connect at 505-250-1223, GFelbain@gmail.com or GayleFelbain.com. See ad, page 11.