Become more mindful

Blossom | Photo: Jane Sauer

I love to learn. It is some kind of way to find freedom. To gain knowledge, understand things, put things in perspective and to connect small pieces of life. Those moments in life where you get the ‘aha’ feeling are precious. They change you. It deepens your life.

One of the things I like to learn about is ‘mindfulness’. For someone who is always running through life like me, it’s a good thing to practice. The basics seem simple. Just be aware of what you are doing at the present moment and don’t get distracted by the outer and the inner chaos. Live your life now and don’t let your past or future take you away from the present moment. If you caught yourself that you are drifting away, bring your attention back to the now. Everyone can do it, but you just need to practice.

As we are still facing the pandemic restrictions, it is a good time to start with living in the moment. As it will be part of the rest of your life, you can better start now. I have been learning about it for at least five years and I have still often moments that I get distracted. But at least, I am aware of it and accept it. Which also brings me to another important part of mindfulness. That is acceptance. Like everything in life is always changing and opposites in life always drags you between those opposites. We all want to have a balance in life. We all need peace. Acceptance is also a balance. Instead of fighting with reality, your dreams or thoughts, you surrender and accept the situation. So is mindfulness, it brings the focus on the present instead of travel in time from past to future. You learn that thoughts are just thoughts and that emotions are just emotions. They come and go. You don’t need to give them all the attention when they appear. So how do you learn about mindfulness?

  • I would like to advise you to read books. There are many many books about this subject. Choose a book that feels right for you. One of my favorite books about this subject is ‘Zen: The art of simple living’ written by Shunmyõ Masuno. Mindfulness is a lifestyle and if you want to make it part of your life you just take small steps in your everyday life. It is also about appreciating a simple life. As they are the great gifts in your life.
  • Use an app to meditate. Meditation will help you in this process. As I know how difficult it can be to start with meditating, start with an app. If you are already advanced and don’t need an app you can do it by yourself. I would advise you to use the app Headspace.
  • Start with yoga. You can find many online yoga classes so take your yoga mat out of your closet and start. When the situation is safe again, search for a yoga school that matches you and take your lessons there. It’s nice to have a teacher (like me) who can guide you and help you. As you know, yoga is not only about asanas.
  • Start with mindful walking. No phone, music or a hiking partner. Just go out by yourself, feel and experience. Every step you take, feel the air around you, hear the birds in the trees and see the sky changing in color.
  • Do one thing at a time. I know, we are living in a society where everyone and everything around us is screaming for attention. But don’t let you get distracted. Turn off the notifications of your phone (except some important people maybe), turn off the sound and do one thing at a time.
  • Practice mindful eating. Have a meal in silence. Really taste what you are eating and feel the sensations.
  • Plan small pauses in your day. To recharge. No screen, no food and no activity. Just stare out of the window and see the trees. Be an observator. Or close your eyes and just be.

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