Living Mindfully

Something that has been on my heart for a while is the process of living more mindfully. You might be thinking, “sure I guess that sounds nice, but like, what does it even mean?” I feel you. When I first started hearing about the concept of mindfulness, words were always accompanied by beautiful pictures of minimal, very clean homes or bountiful gardens, etc. So yeah, if living mindfully means having a home and a garden like that, I’m in!

The process

The biggest thing I’ve learned in my research of intentional and mindful living is that it’s not the results, but the process. Living mindfully is about being present in each moment and soaking up the goodness from the world around you.

It’s being grateful for having dishes to wash. Dishes that you just ate your dinner on. Dinner you spent time cooking and enjoying the process of. Food that was eaten over conversation with loved ones. You don’t have to wash the dishes, you get to wash the dishes.

Being mindful is a mental state.

It’s about changing your way of thinking and slowing down to soak it all in.

I saw this Robin Hood flour commercial last night and I thought “wow, they really nailed that commercial.”  The commercial is titled ‘This is Baking’. The narrator of the commercial describes the process of making different things. Getting your hands doughy, not being able to text, creating, feeling, waiting… This commercial literally described what I love about baking. It’s the stages and being present through each of them.

Why though?

I choose to live mindfully because I want to be present throughout my life. As much as I want all of my dreams to be accomplished and happen now (as in immediately) I know that the goodness is in the process. The life lessons, the joy, the accomplishment, the mistakes, those things happen when life is happening. If you want to be a better, more well-rounded person than you have to actually experience and really feel those big things as they transpire.

But how?

So you’re nodding your head, thinking “yes this is the kind of life I want to live, but I still don’t know how! Tell me more!”

Well friend, I will!

Here are my tips for living more mindfully each day

Ps. These are things I need to remind myself of all the time. Some of them don’t come naturally and/or it’s easy to get swept up in the fast-paced current of life.

  1. Put your phone away. Unless you’re on-call, when you’re with other people keep your phone tucked away. There’s no worse feeling than being the person on the other side of your phone. They’re trying to have a conversation with you,  seeking some focused attention and you’re “multi-tasking” by listening and answering a text. The problem is, you’re not really listening. You’re not present and you’re missing out on precious real-time correspondence with someone you cherish.
  2. Put on some music. When you’re home doing chores, turn it into an experience by pouring yourself a cup of coffee, tea, wine or your favourite beverage and listen to your favourite playlist for your current mood. Remind yourself how lucky you are to have a home to do chores in and a family to take care of (even if it’s just you!).
  3. Meditate/ Journal. I prefer meditating over journalling. With all of the writing I already do in my day, meditation is time for me to just mentally reflect on my present self. It’s also a time for me to think about my future self, and the things I can do today that will get me closer to where I want to be tomorrow. Journalling has the same effect. Some people need to get it out on paper. Whatever works for you, make sure you’re taking time to just be where you are.
  4. Trust the process. Sometimes things happen that make us question why it’s taking so long, if we’re really on the right path after all, or what the heck we’re doing with our lives. Trust that where you are is where you’re meant to be. Think of the lessons you’ll learn that will help shape your future self. You’re here for a reason, even if you don’t know what the reason is(yet).

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