Mindfulness has rapidly become an obsession that has taken over my life for all the right reasons. If mindfulness were a person, I would want to dress the same as, drink lattes with and invite around for dinner to have a Netflix binge session. Mindfulness is just that cool. Mindfulness already feels like a friend to me as it has helped me regain control over my anxious thoughts and feelings. Although Mindfulness initially presents itself as a simple task of tuning out of reality to focus on the small stuff, it takes time to become a jedi master. (I just watched an Star Wars themed Ink master episode and George Lucas is running circles around my mind!) So do as I have done dear reader and go and grab yourself a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea and get jiggy with Mindfulness. Or, more appropriately just get comfortable.
I have been practicing mindfulness since halfway through 2014. I find that I am either really good at it, or abandon the art completely- which results in my head crippling with worry, stress and anxiety. Quite frankly, when I am best pals with Mindfulness, my whole life seems to click into place much easier. I am a nicer person in general, I have more time for other people’s needs. I decided to spend the month of May focusing on enhancing my mindfulness techniques. I can’t believe as I sit here to write my reflection piece that the month has already passed. I feel that I did make some progress with my mindfulness skills, but there is still so much I want to learn.
One of the main points for me that I was going to focus on for may was Mindfulness reading. Taking the time out of my extremely busy schedule to tune in on the words on my page and the feeling of the book in my hands. I have been practicing Mindfulness reading before I begun this challenge. I recently purchased an iPad so I could start using eBooks. The whole world is moving with technology, it seems I have to move forward Julia Gillard style. (Although, the paperback will never be replaced)
I must admit dear reader that I have fallen in love with my iPad for reading. I am so out of the loop with Apple (On a sidenote, I have not eaten an apple for over three years so I am very out of the loop) the lighting on the iPad will adjust to the lighting in your room. If I am reading a book, I am always keeping my partner awake, or even creating an extra chore of turning the light off for myself. Laziness 101 I know, but because the iPad adjusts to the natural darkness of my room, I have been finding it extremely easy to indulge in Mindfulness reading every night. Not only do I look forward to going to bed every night to read peacefully, it actually helps to make me tired to go to sleep! Farwell recapping thoughts on my day and future events that are unlikely to ever occur!
One of the reasons I started practicing Mindfulness skills in the first place because my anxiety ridden brain lacked a very important skill- I had the inability to listen to the people I loved when they were talking too me. This is embarrassing to admit, but I did not how to do it. When someone I love was talking to me, I wasn’t giving them my fullest attention as my mind was trying to sort through more mediocre problems. For example, my boyfriend would be telling me about his day at work and I would be thinking “If I read the lecture notes tonight, I will be more prepared to start drafting my essay on Thursday. Oh, but I need to make that doctor’s appointment as well. Make sure to book it in early so I can go to gym straight after. But, if I don’t make the gym I may be able to catch up with Mum for a coffee…” And on and on my annoying head would go.
For the past few months I have been working on my listening skills, but I decided to focus on this particular skill during May. When my boyfriend would start telling me about his day, I would put everything I was holding out of my hands. I am a self proclaimed social media checker who constantly refreshes Facebook, Instagram, Hotmail and Twitter feeds. I am always trying to stay up to date with everything. Just putting the phone down showed him that I was genuinely interested. I also started to position my body facing his. (Coincidently, this was something he told me that he learnt at work!) I would give full eye contact and ask the questions I was most interested in. Although I have been really trying, I am not officially the world’s best listener as my mind still wanders from time to time. But, I feel confident enough to say that I rocked a little bit harder at Mindfulness listening this month just by promising myself to work on it.
I am always looking to expand my knowledge with Mindfulness. This month, I have booked tickets with my beloved cousin to attend two Mindfulness workshops! I will be sure to report the wonders that I learn on my blog, as writing is one of my hobbies which helps to unwind.
What are some of your mindfulness techniques that you are working on dear reader?
Miss Book Dependent xo