There are many interpretations of the word mindfulness. According to the Google dictionary, mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily senses.
In a shorter version, you can think of it as being fully present in the moment. Think about how many times a day you are fully present in the moment. I bet there are some days you are not fully present at all. With all the technology around us, people around us, noises, your mind constantly thinking of the next things you need to do or say, etc. it is no wonder that mindfulness is something we all have to practice.
Over the past year, I have had time to slow down and realize how I was rarely fully present in any part of my life. I felt like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I bet there are a few of you out there who can relate to my behavior. I had my head down and was going through the motions of what I had to get done every day. I was not going to fail at whatever I was doing so I made my list of things to do each day and completed them all to the best of my ability. My path was moving forward in a positive manner to succeed in life and that was what I tried to do every day. However, that also meant I was never fully present in what I was working on or who I was listening to. How interesting it has been during the last year to realize all the moments I missed and how tired and exhausted I was feeling each day. I now understand myself better than ever before and have changed my goals and processes. I have accepted my past, learned from my past, and look forward to my future being better and more fulfilling. I work on mindfulness every day and want to show my family and those around me how present I am when spending time with them.
One way I work on mindfulness is to really listen to what people have to say. In the past I would listen and comment back but, I was also thinking of something else in the background. I was either thinking of things I need to do or forgot to do or I was thinking of what I wanted to say as soon as they stop talking. This happens to many of us. Most people do not even realize they are doing it. Once I was aware of how often I was doing this I consciously paid more attention to being present and really listening. Now I wait to respond and be sure not to make every response about me. Such as not always responding about how I had a difficult time too or how I did it better. Instead, I try to ask more questions and be truly interested in what the other person is saying.
If you relate to some of this and are interested in hearing more about how I am working on mindfulness or just want to learn more about mindfulness as a whole, please send me a message. I would love to hear your stories, thoughts or questions on the topic.