Everywhere you look there are 5 ways to accomplish something. 5 ways to be happier. 5 ways to be thinner, smarter, more conversational. Like most people, I am a sucker for these. I am a life-learner and I am always out to better myself. Yet, I have found that all of the lists, tricks and hacks boil down to one thing: being mindful in the moment. If we aren’t mindful to the internal (how we feel and think) and the external (our environment, people, and resources) there are no number of steps that will make anything better.
If you want to work on your health, be more productive, or strengthen relationships; check in with yourself each moment. Want to stick to a goal, make healthy changes, or increase your positive mood? Right now, in this moment, take a breath, and practice mindfulness.
Though this sounds simple, it is challenging. Challenging enough that over time it creates big change. Practicing mindfulness is being aware of the present moment, without judgement, and learning to respond versus reacting out of ego, emotion, or fear. This week, see if you can catch yourself making things too complicated and bring it back to just one moment, this moment. Take a breath, notice how you feel, what you think, and respond with kindness. It’s just one moment, one step.
Mindful moments are short practices to be used throughout your week to relax, integrate and center yourself. Inspired by the wisdom traditions and science, mindful moments are meant to be accessible and simple enough for anyone to practice. Many teachers and leaders in integrative medicine have influenced our approach to mindful moments. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Pema Chodron would say it is “practicing in the gaps.” Look for the weekly mindful moment every Monday. May it support you in finding your center to live life to the fullest.