Are You Living a Mindful Life?
by Erin Craft
What is mindfulness?
mind.ful.ness / noun
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
So, I pose the question: Are you living a mindful life?
One day, I was riding the bus home from work when a man sitting two seats over turned to me and tried to start a conversation.
My initial thoughts: “Er, uh…who is this guy? Why is he talking to me? Maybe if I act uninterested he’ll leave me alone.”
Well, turns out said stranger and I got to talking and had a pretty thought-provoking conversation. He told me he challenges himself to talk to one new person on the bus every day. He says that research shows people feel incredibly isolated when taking public transportation because rarely does anyone communicate with one another aside from their friends and family. So, whenever he has the chance, he introduces himself to someone sitting beside him.
I think that’s pretty admirable. With the prevalence of technology today, it’s so easy to lose that face-to-face interaction. This means we’re often forced to break down barriers and show complete vulnerability. And let’s be real, no one likes being vulnerable...
That said, imagine what our society would be like if we all practiced mindful living.
If we were proactively making ourselves aware of others and our surroundings, while living in the moment and not on our phones, we’d have the potential to build more relationships with those around us and develop more meaningful dialog.
Now, ask yourself this: Am I currently practicing mindfulness? If the answer is no, then it’s time to make a change.
Today, I challenge you to live a more mindful life. Why? Because if you aren’t present and you aren’t focused on the moment you’re in right this second, then how do you expect to learn and grow and impact others?
The next time you’re out to dinner with your boyfriend, leave your phone in your purse. When you’re riding the bus into the office, admire the scenery outside the window. When you’re in a conversation with friends, don’t let your mind wander.
Getting into mundane habits and routines are easy, but living intentionally takes effort. And the results from being mindful are unending. You’ll find that you compare yourself to others less, you’ll make others feel more important, you’ll be grateful for the little things, and I can guarantee you’ll learn something new.
One of my favorite boss babes, Autumn Sorelle, is leading the charge and putting an emphasis on living mindfully by doing it herself. She offers mindfulness challenges each month to inspire others to be present in all aspects of life. If you want to learn to do the same, head to her page and crack that whip!
And remember: At the end of the day, nothing changes if nothing changes.