One of the biggest buzz words of 2018…….

Mindfulness.  Why is everyone talking about mindfulness? It is no longer a word reserved for just yoga classes- you hear it almost everywhere you turn. Remember when all of the articles relating to health had to do with diet, exercises, and doctor visits? What does it say about how we are living now, that when we are talking about staying healthy, people are telling us to remember to breathe- to sleep- to just, slow down?!

I loved the days I was able to get up early a couple of mornings a week, while the world was still quiet, and practice mediation for 20 minutes or so. This completely changed my vibration for the day. Fast forward to mornings with my toddler, who wakes me up 5am with the excited exclamation, “Early bird catches worm, mama!” My zen mornings are now filled with running in circles, acting like a firetruck, with oatmeal caked in my hair. 

Living with presence doesn’t require you sitting like Yoda on a mountaintop, chanting away for hours. There are many ways to develop mindfulness. You don’t even need to carve out extra time! Working on being present during all of the ordinary daily motions we go through is a great place to start. Here are some of my tips and tricks:

1- You do not always need to be multi-tasking!  When you are folding laundry, just fold laundry. You don’t need to call anyone. You don’t need to be thinking of your to-do lists. Just feel the clothes. Smell them. Use all of your senses (except for taste, of course).

2- Use your shower time to take some deep breaths. I know, especially as a mom, a shower can be a luxury some days! But, you are in there. You are breathing. My favorite thing to do is to keep a couple of bottles of essential oil in the shower. Citrus is really nice in the morning- lavender in the evening. You’ll be amazed at what a couple of deep aromatic breaths can do for you!

3- Cooking. Again, we are always rushing to get everything on the table, But, if you could slow down for a couple of moments, it’s another great opportunity to develop mindfulness. Listen to the sound the lemon makes as you cut into it. Smell that beautiful scent as it escapes. Notice how your hand feels when you squeeze it.

4- I love going on a meditation walk. I know we all love to throw those headphones in, but maybe go without music or a podcast for just ten minutes. Listen to the sounds around you. Look at the sky, plants, etc. Feel the wind. Feel the muscles working in your legs, your arms swinging. Even at the beginning of my runs, I imagine my heart opening to whatever is in front of me, as all of the the weight I have been carrying falls off of my back. Just a couple of minutes of this changes my energy completely.

I don’t do these things all of the time, but I am working on it. It’s a skill after all. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose, but lots to gain!