In theory, gratitude, living in the moment, and inviting joy is all easy — all sensical — but how and when is it working in practice? When does it rock and when does it flop? (And flopping is ok!) 15 strangers joined us for a blunt, curious dinner discussion on Practical Mindfulness.
Here are our takeaways and questions-to-remember! This list ranges from “how does it feel to practice mindfulness?” and “increase the space between action and reaction” to “concetration is relaxed into, not forced into” and “what is no longer bringing me joy?”
Take some usefulness out of this list!
What is mindfulness? What does it really mean to be present, grateful, have space, nonjudgemental, aware, still, etc?
What is definitely not mindfulness?
How does it feel when you are practicing mindfulness?
When I am practicing mindfulness, I feel space — space between my action and reaction to act and enjoy intentionally.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to mean focusing on really tiny details of one thing — perhaps it is just being aware of how you’re feeling while you do what you do in that specific way.
Resistance — I think being mindful is about feeling/leaning into the hard moments. When I can lessen “resistance” or “friction,” I can live well.
“I practice mindfulness” is like saying “I play sport” — it’s pretty generic, and there’s a lot more we’d want to know.
Mindfulness is a consumable word. It a productive, creative word that’s doesn’t give off religious vibes — it sells.
“Mindful” is used in common speech to mean “be careful” or “take note of something” — this is different from mindfulness.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Checklists — I reconnect often with my bigger goals and desires. When shit hits the fan, I’ll be able to refer back to that.
Triggers — I’ve decided that any time I can feel my temperature rises, my annoyance flaring, I’ll do/think/say a certain thing — perhaps walk away, smile and stay silent, or close my eyes and exhale.
Exhale — A really long exhale, until I can’t exhale anymore, does wonders for making me present again.
Mantra — I’ve found a short phrase that I say to myself whenever I want to be more present and grateful.
Structure — I make sure to meditate every more, even if it’s just a few minutes. Habits make it easier because I always HAVE time for it… I never need to make time for it.
Mornings — I start the day with a bit of reading. A book I love… no social media.
The moment of mindfulness (or meditation) doesn’t have to be long — it can be a couple of seconds. A couple seconds scattered through out the day, a minute before every meal, or every train ride.
There are some misconceptions around meditation that makes it hard for people to stay — it is not about control, not about getting “there.” Concentration is relaxed into, not forced into.
What is not bringing me joy?
What do I want mindfulness to do for me?
What is my goal?
How do I know or feel if I are making process?
What do I want to commit to? What is good and reasonable given my life now, or how can I tweak my lifestyle to allow more space for mindfulness in practice?