I ask my students, “When you think of the word ‘mindfulness,’ what words appear in your mind?”
Their Responses: A man/woman on the mountain top, yoga, zen, prayer, silence, and impossible. The last word struck out at me. I ask why do you say “impossible.” In our technology-driven society where we are constantly being pulled in multiple directions at the same time and battling for attention on too many social media channels (i.e. should I check into my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat Like this or that, or thumb down this or that), it may seem impossible to be mindful about anything since our mind is ‘mind full of stuff’ already!
Within the chaos of noise, white noise, the noise of the buzzing tones of our phone, text, or notifications, finding mindful moments may seem impossible or does it only appear to be impossible to provide an opportunity of possibility?
My response: “There is More to Than Meets the Eye” – (also, one of my favorite quotes from the “Transformers Cartoon series in the ’80s).
Mindfulness is not about finding solitude, retreating to a haven from the noise that makes up life (your boss asking for a report, your family wanting your presence), or going to a remote, beautiful island where the water is crystal blue, and it’s just you and the seagulls. No, mindfulness is more about finding mindful micro-moments throughout our day that reminds us that we are alive, breathing, and still here today. I think mindfulness is a great gift to oneself when you can take a few seconds in the midst of the chaos, screaming background, or piles of deadlines, and take a breath, and be still even for a second. The awareness of these beautiful mindful micro-moments can help drive us through the mud and is probably (in my opinion) more effective and long-lasting in permeating to all your senses than taking selfies sitting (and probably freezing in all your five senses) on top of a mountain.