One of the first things I have learned about experiencing more BLISS is the importance of practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is somewhat of a buzz word these days. But what does it really mean?
The dictionary defines mindfulness as:
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, (sometimes used) as a therapeutic technique.
So, the first thing is being aware of the present moment. This is a very calming practice. I do that by breathing and first becoming aware of my breath. Then, I begin to notice what I am feeling and thinking. Perhaps noticing thoughts that are creating negative or positive feelings. Then I can begin to let go of those. I connect to my body because that tells me more about what I am feeling (more on this later also). I can further help myself by tuning into thoughts and letting go or replacing of those that are not nurturing me.
I discovered mindfulness and began practicing it as part of self-compassion training. We will discuss self-compassion more in a later post. I had some training by Dr. Kristen Neff at a workshop and begin practicing then.
According to the self-compassion website – www.self-compassion.org:
Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. At the same time, mindfulness requires that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negative reactivity.
The first step in mindfulness is become aware of your breathing and get into the present moment. Then become aware of your body. Go inside. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? Are you in extremes? See if you can gently correct your thoughts to become more moderate. Challenge them if they are extreme. Is this really true? See if you can bring your thinking back into alignment with thoughts that are self-soothing.
Let me know what you think!