What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a training in self awareness. With mindfulness we can bring more awareness into our bodies, thoughts, and emotions. This awareness can be transformative because we begin to see unhelpful patterns, and when we see these patterns we have the opportunity for change.
Mindfulness in essence is a training to live in a continuum of ever-fresh awareness. The focus is less on trying to change ourselves and the world around us, and more on meeting whatever we experience with kindness and curiosity
Calming the Nervous System
Neuroscience shows that when we feel stress, hunger, exhaustion, or any other form of threat or challenge, our nervous system can move out of its 'window of tolerance' and into a reactive mode. This can be towards hyperarousal or hypoarousal. Neither make for good decision making or feelings of wholeness.
Mindfulness over time helps us to expand the window of tolerance. We find we can tolerate more without getting triggered and acting out unconsicous patterns. Put simply we react less and respond more, we are literally creating neural pathways of goodness.
Closer Than Hands And Feet
Mindfulness can be as simple as pausing and taking a breath. In our busy lives it can be very easy to get caught up in our to-do lists and be in a state of always thinking about what is next. We seem to spend more time as ‘human-doings’ than human beings! Mindfulness invites an opportunity to pause in the midst of whatever is going on, feel your feet on the earth, relax and smile. This is where mindfulness begins.
In time this simple practice of calm can deepen into a process of insight and understanding. A calm mind enables a process of self reflection. We begin to become more alert to the voices in us that are not our own. When we see clearly, negative habits simply drop away and we are left with a deepening appreciation of the interconnectedness of life.