Discover the Presence in Your Life!
In our modern society with all its many distractions, stresses, and over-stretched schedules there is a movement to practice mindfulness to enjoy our lives more.
But what is mindfulness? Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD—the founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School—defines mindfulness at the core of all practices. It is simply “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Just how do we do that? We are programmed to analyze and determine if we are doing things “right.” When we pause to be “mindful,” there is a part of us that often asks, “am I doing it right?” Remembering to be non-judgmental can be difficult. The practice of taking note—moment by moment—and dropping the judgment without our inner critic, is indeed doing it “right.” If there is judgment, take note. In the next moment, there may be no judgment. Just the act of acknowledging our judgment patterns, we begin to achieve clarity of thought in what may seem to be a chaotic thought pattern.
The 5-3-1 Daily Mindfulness Practice is a simple, yet profound daily mindfulness practice that anyone can practice. :
• 5: Five times each day, spend a few minutes focusing on your breath. A quiet place is ideal for beginners, but this can be done anywhere. Take deep abdominal breaths. Exhale a little longer than the inhale breath. The body will calm naturally and easily.
• 3: Think, write, or say three things for which you are grateful. This practice gives rise to positive thoughts that increase energy and creativity.
• 1: Once each day, do one action that is self-compassionate. Appreciating “you” for being a human on this planet. Hug yourself, give yourself a pat on the back, speak kindly to yourself in tone and message. Talk to yourself as you would to someone you care for. This inner resource creates a balance that is key to living a more fully present and happier life.
These practices can be tailored and explored to be unique to each individual. Learning what resonates with you about the practice of mindfulness, is actually mindfulness. The benefits are great. Begin without judgment and discover the moments of calm clarity, serenity and most of all, the presence of your own life!
Rebecca Berke, BCH, is a board-certified hypnotherapist and mindfulness specialist. As a Hypnotherapist and Mindfulness Specialist at Comprehensive Wellness, she works with clients on stress management, a variety of habit control issues as well as performance anxiety and transformational coaching. Her experience in dance provided her the knowledge of the powerful mind/body connection. She is also the Associate Director of the Diablo Ballet School.