I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of mindfulness. I was first introduced to the topic when I was a workstudy student during college. My boss at the time asked me if I would create a poster for a four-week Mindful Meditation program that consisted of an hour a week of different mindful practices. I had never really heard about the concept before so I attended the sessions in order to learn more.
My journey in mindfulness continued as I started a beginner’s yoga practice, sometimes at a studio but mostly online (shout out to Yoga with Adrienne). The continuous encouragement to be mindful in my life lead me to asking what exactly is mindfulness?
That is when I found Mindful.org – a site devoted to “taking time for what matters.” I hoped that their article What is Mindfulness would finally be able to give me the answers I was looking for.
According to Mindful.org, Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.
Ah, finally I was getting somewhere near understanding how mindfulness could benefit me and my always thinking brain. The article also told me that the best way to learn what mindfulness is would be by trying it. The list of benefits includes long but include reducing stress, enhancing performance, gaining insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increasing our attention to others’ well being. All of these thing sound pretty great – so why not try it! The rest of the article went on to explain a few key things to know and how to meditate. You can read about that here (http://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/) but in typical Kirsti fashion, I decided to jump right in and find out for myself. That is what the article told me to do after all.
I recently found an app called Headspace – “a gym membership for the mind”. The app claims to make meditation simple allowing you to learn online, wherever you are in just 10 minutes a day. You can use the program on both your phone and computer. The app starts with Take Ten Foundation course – building blocks of meditation and mindfulness but you can grow to go other meditations based on different interests (i.e. sleep, stress, etc.). I’m currently on day 6 of the starter course and so far I’ve found it a tad difficult to connect. It’s important to remember that, like yoga, mindfulness is a practice. Andy, the computerized voice that leads each session works hard to remind you of this concept. I will keep trying and so should you.