Mindfulness and Meditation
In January of this year I started a new routine for myself which includes walking my dog for an hour every morning before everyone else gets up. This is a time I use to listen to podcasts and this morning I was hit by some inspiration while listening to Hunter Clarke-Fields and Carla Naumberg talk about how to make time for mindfulness. I have a 2 year old and working mindfulness and meditation into my daily life is tough #TheStruggleIsReal and while I listened, I was struck by how many people struggle with that sense of constant busy-ness. This constant hustle is exhausting and can even be counter-productive because as we hustle our brain get tired, our bodies get tired, and we are less efficient and certainly less happy. So, what was my inspiration?
My idea is this: for all 31 days in March (realistically it will probably be MOST of the days) I am going to have at least 1 minute of mindfulness and/or meditation and just notice if anything shifts in my life through the month. I invite anyone interested in trying this out to join me.
You might be wondering what the difference between mindfulness and meditation is. I know I have found it confusing at times. In the podcast I mentioned above, they do a great job of explaining the two. I’ll give it a whirl myself.
Mindfulness: this is an informal practice that can be worked into any singular moment in your day. This is when you simply focus your attention on whatever you are doing in that moment.
Meditation: a formal practice where you sit down for a specific amount of time set aside to be mindful. These can be done sitting, laying, walking, or through mindful movement (ie – yoga or stretching).
There is a plethora of resources available online and in your local bookstore. You may even be able to find a local meditation group. The idea behind Mindful March is to have that sense that you are not alone in trying this out; it is a no cost, low commitment invitation to try something new in your life.
Please share on your socials so that we can get people interested and maybe even involved. If you want to post anything you are welcome to do so. I ask that you include my hashtag #CharmCounselling or tag me in your post (handles listed below) so I can get an idea of how many people are participating. I think it would also be fun to use the hashtag #MindfulMarch
You can contribute as much or as little as you want, you can even be a silent participant if that feels the best for you in this moment.
Socials for Charm Counselling
Twitter: @CharmCounsellin (yes the g is missing)
UPDATE: It has come to my attention that not everyone who wants to follow along with this journey actively uses social media so I have decided to add the daily posts to this blog entry so you can see them now, and if you happen to be reading this at a later date.
Welcome to day 1 of Mindful March! Thank you so much for being here 💗
Diaphragmatic Breathing is such an important piece of mindfulness here is a photo that breaks it down as well as a link to the article I took the picture from www.sequencewiz.org/…/yogic-breathing-chest-belly-belly-che…
If you want to try out a more formal meditation practice (yes even for under 5 minutes) the Insight App is a great place to find guided meditations as well as use a timer to help with your practice. You can also connect with me! Just search for Gina Carnegie in Kamloops, BC. My profile photo is 2 palm trees with a purple sunrise. It is a photo I took early in the morning while on vacation
Quote of the Week: "Mindfulness isn't difficult, we just need to remember to do it." - Sharon Salzberg
Today I shared an app called Forest: Stay focused which is a fun way to encourage yourself to put the phone down for a while. You can download the app HERE
Mindfulness Quick Tip
As you begin to eat or drink something pause and focus on all 5 senses. What do you smell? What do you see? How does it feel in your hands or mouth? Does it make any sound? Savour the taste as it hits your tongue.
I love doing this with my first sip of coffee aka beautiful bean juice.
Today I shared a podcast called "The Mindful Minute" with Meryl Arnett which can be found wherever you get your podcasts or at THIS LINK
Children have an amazing ability to be fully present in whatever they are doing. We could all learn from them. If you have a child in your life spend some time watching them play. Maybe even join in! Don't judge yourself for how you play, don't worry about what others might think, simply lose yourself in a moment of play with that child.
If you do not have a child in your life, an animal is also excellent mindfulness example.
Today I shared a gif to help guide mindful breathing. Here is a link to a Youtube video with the same content repeating for 1 minute.
Today's resource is this great, simple book by one of the first people to bring mindfulness and meditation to the Western world: Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Wherever You Go, There You Are can be found on Amazon or in most bookstores.
Quote of the Week: "The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing." - Jon Kabat-Zinn