Mindfulness is one of my absolute favorite therapeutic models/techniques! It’s simple & straightforward, & so easy to apply to everyday life. Being mindful of each and every moment helps you to stay focused on the here & now, & goes a long way in achieving balance. The problem is that it is so simple, that it can be overlooked. The main thing to remember about mindfulness is to utilize each of your 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, & touch. If your mind & thoughts wander, allow it to be, accept it, & refocus. I’ll take you through a recent mindfulness experience of my own.
Last weekend, I was at a family reunion on a lake in south Arkansas. It was so very relaxing to just be shrouded in nature. I’m a fairly early riser (my sister-in-law was the only one up before my husband & me), and I was able to just sit and experience a sunrise through mindfulness. Here we go:
This was just before sunrise on beautiful Lake Degray. I noticed the the beautiful blues of the morning sky that bathed the lake & trees with its splendor. I also noticed the stillness of the lake, almost like glass, which immediately whispered, “Be still. Be calm.” Even the trees & grass in the foreground seemed to pick up the the serenity of the blueness.
Mesmerized by the beauty of the scene, in the background, I noticed the sound of the birds & the ever so light breeze as it tiptoed across the leaves, the grass, & at times, disrupted the stillness of the glassy lake water. Eventually, I began to notice the sound of motors, as the early boaters began their early morning treks across the lake. I could hear the soothing sounds of my husband’s voice greeting other campers as they began to rise, one-by-one. I heard the replies, & was comforted by their humor. I heard the gentle splashes of water as my sister-in-law disrupted the glassiness of the lake’s surface with the oars on her kayak.
I noticed the smell of my morning coffee with each lift & tilt of the cup. I also noticed a very slight, but not unpleasant, fishy scent that was just enough to let me know I was at the lake. The early morning lake air smelled fresh & clean & rejuvenating. There were some slightly sweet scents that I could not quite put my finger on, but were pleasant to experience nonetheless.
I could taste the contrasting sweet bitterness of my black coffee with one sweetener. I could almost taste the air, as it grew thicker with the increasing humidity of the Arkansas summer morning. I could still barely taste the minty sweetness of my toothpaste from my morning brushing. As my mind wandered to the meals of the day, I could almost taste the bacon I knew would be frying in the next few minutes.
I could feel the morning dew on my toes, as I ran my flipflop through the grass at my feet. I could feel the stability of the wooden bench where I sat as I basked in this wonderful mindful experience. Just as I could almost taste the air, I could also feel it on my skin as it grew denser with the sun moving from dawn to morning. I felt the warmth of my coffee in my hand, and when I sipped it, I felt it on my lips, my tongue, & down my throat. I could almost feel its warmth as it flowed into my stomach.
Through use of each of my senses, I became fully aware of the moment & was able to be fully present. Practicing mindfulness on a regular basis can help you in finding balance in your life. It promotes feelings of peace, calmness, & serenity. I hope my experience with mindfulness helps you on your journey in finding balance.
Where are you in your journey to finding balance? Please feel free to share your mindful experiences…