Learning how to be mindful is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and your children.
Free yourself and them from the path of self doubt, guilt and worry that this modern world of consumerism and competition has taken us down. This article will explain the basics of mindfulness so that you can begin your mindful journey and start to live free from worry and stress.
It Gets Personal!
Towards the end of the page I've shared some of my own experiences of how being mindful has helped me and my children.
I hope that sharing these stories will help and encourage you to incorporate mindfulness into your life. Please share your own experiences in comments.
Also featured are some unique mindfulness gifts, merch, posters, kits and games. FAST ACCESS THOSE HERE
What is Mindfulness and living Mindfully?
Being mindful is to be aware of what you're sensing, doing, experiencing NOW
We all do that right? WRONG. We're mostly thinking about what we WERE doing, what we are going to be doing, what we should be doing, regretting what we have already done …
We're in a self made hell
All this chitter chatter going on inside our heads causes anxiety, fear, frustration, unwellness.
Was it always like this?
NO. Back in the beginning of time humans had no language, without language they weren't able to ‘speak to themselves' inside their heads. They weren't able to contemplate the past, worry about the future or be their own worst critic. ALL of these things come from ‘speaking to ourselves' using language.
Imagine what that must have been like … NOT ever speaking to yourself. Let's live that for a moment. Turn off that talking voice inside your head. STOP reading, STOP thinking about what you're reading. LOOK around you, what do you see. What can you hear, smell, touch. What does it all smell, feel, sound like?
That process is called living in the NOW, you're being MINDFUL and you've quieted your inner critic, your inner source of anxiety and worry.
Animals Live Mindfully
The wolf is smelling, listening and watching what's happening now. If he's tired he will sleep. If he's hungry he won't worry about his next meal, he'll actively go looking for it.
He's living every moment of his life in the now.
How humans differ from animals re stress and anxiety – how does this relate to mindfulness?
In the wild animals do not suffer from anxiety. They do experience stress …stress arising from FEAR of a situation they're in NOW. Stress from being hungry and not finding food NOW. The stress comes only from situations arising NOW.
We differ as humans because we suffer stress and anxiety for things past present and future. To what end? What does it accomplish really?
You can reduce the stress and anxiety in your life by cutting out any negative thoughts that pertain to the past or the future.
- DEAL with what is in front of you NOW
- BE the best person you can be NOW
Why are we so HARD on ourselves?
We've spent our lifetime since acquiring language talking to ourselves about all things and in this day and age much of this self-talk is negative.
We have become our own worst enemies. No one is nastier or mean-spirited to us than we are. We tell ourselves we're too fat, too thin, too stupid, too ineffective, too unsuccessful, too wrong, too damaging
STOP loathing yourself RIGHT NOW
STOP Talking Smack To YOURSELF
BE Your OWN BEST FRIEND
From this moment on if you MUST talk to yourself, do so from the perspective of a best friend (NOT A HATER). Say everything to yourself a good best friend would say. Your best friend might say:
- “You're not fat, you're cuddly you'll lose it when you're ready”
- “You're NOT stupid you've got street smarts and you've achieved a lot”
- “You don't need flashy things, you've got friends, health a roof”
- “You can overcome anything, you're strong”
When ever you find that you're hating yourself just STOP. Turn on the BEST FRIEND inside of you and give out the great PEP talk that you need, that you'll benefit from.
Zen Buddhism and Mindfulness
Zen Buddhists practice the art of mindfulness. Their philosophy is simple. If you're about to eat a bar of chocolate, focus on the smell , the taste the texture. ENJOY every part of it. DO NOT spend your time while eating the chocolate worrying about it making you fat, being too high in sugar content.
The best advice I can give re that is if you can't enjoy your chocolate bar without worrying as you do so, do NOT eat it. You won't enjoy it so what's the point. After you'll feel worse and you continue to think about having eaten it. You'll feel regret, self loathing. Nothing has been gained by eating the chocolate. Either eat it and enjoy it 100% or do not eat it at all. SIMPLE
- SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
- BE A WOLF (or a Unicorn or a Pineapple even – more on why people want to BE a Pineapple later! )
- OR preferably JUST BE
Mindfulness in practice – how it can help prevent a Panic Attack!
Today my son Adam who recently started having panic attacks was having the beginnings of one in the car. After trying to address it (while driving) the usual way (breathe, relax, drink water etc.) it occurred to me to try a mindfulness approach. VERY EASY .. I initiated a game of I-Spy. He was instantly engaged, panic attack stopped in tracks , all focus off him and into the world outside. He went into his new school (hence anxious – worrying about things that haven't happened!) feeling happy and relaxed.
Mindfulness In practice How T0 Reduce Accidents and Falls
Up until the very serious fracture of my wrist a few years ago I was THE clumsiest person ever. I would fall up and down the stairs daily in my race to get where I was going. Everything I did was at break neck speed. That along with my mind also racing with thoughts about future endeavors or past mistakes took my mind away from what I was actually doing at that moment. Hence my being very accident prone.
Breaking my wrist changed all that. It was VERY painful banging my wrist on the stairs every single time I went up or down them! The result was I now make a conscious effort to always be mindful when on the stairs. I think about where my feet are, going slowly, carefully. I haven't fallen down or up them since! Hooray!
Think about what you're doing NOW not in the future, not in the past and GO SLOWLY, there really is no need to race around.
I should add that a few months later I fractured my ankle because despite being aware my foot had fallen to sleep (that numb feeling) I chose to race across the lounge on it! The feeling came back pretty quick when I twisted and fell on it. I wasn't thinking about what I was doing in the NOW. I haven't fractured anything since … phew!
Share your personal experiences of living mindfully here so we can all learn to appreciate the benefits.
Meanwhile if you want to learn more about being mindful and mindfulness Amazon have some popular self help books on the subject. Check out the reviews!
I especially like the Children's books for Mindfulness. Imagine how much nicer life can be when you learn these techniques early.
Mindfulness Books for Children
Mindfulness Gifts, Tshirts, Accessories for HIM and HER
Featured here are a range of mindfulness gifts I've designed myself which incorporate the essence of being mindful. Themes include Buddhism, Yoga, Enlightenment, Meditation as well as Mindfulness Expressions such as Breathe, Just Be, Let it Go and more.
Mindfulness Poster For Classroom, Office, Workplace, Home
I designed this mindfulness poster by creating a mindful expression for each letter of the word mindfulness. The expressions are ones I came up with BUT you can edit them to make them unique and relevant to YOU.
The poster is customizable in that regard. It features a trendy chalkboard background and lotus flower image.
This design is featured on wall art including paper posters, wood posters and canvas, and is available in a wide range of sizes. It is also featured on mugs and tshirts.
- Invite warmth in
- Notice your surroundings
- Develop inner peace
- Find joy in silence
- Understand yourself
- Let it go
- Nurture those around you
- Enjoy simple pleasures
- Smell the flowers
Mindfulness Gifts For Women – Personalized Totes
This stylish all over print personalized tote features a popular mindfulness theme which is piles of stones. The art of selecting similar sized and shaped stones and stacking them is a way of focusing the mind on the NOW.
Other design elements include watercolor green and blue colors and a leaf, these symbolize the beauty of nature and being natural. You can add a name or a mindfulness expression to personalize the bag making it a great Mindfulness Gift For Her. There are other designs in the mindfulness tote bag range, view them here.
Mindfulness and Yoga
I attended my first ever YOGA session yesterday. It was an hour long and I very much enjoyed it. I especially liked the 10mins of lying still on the Yoga mat while the Yoga teacher took us through a meditation exercise. It made me realize how little time I spend just doing ‘nothing' an enjoying ‘being' (excluding sleep of course).
Yoga is a great way to not only strengthen the body , it strengthens the mind. It teaches you to focus on your breath. It is for this reason that many mindfulness gifts feature Yoga images, particularly popular is the Lotus position image.
Mindfulness and The Popularity Of Adult Coloring Books
You're probably a mindfulness practitioner already and didn't know it! Coloring books for adults have taken the Western world by storm and its all because the art of coloring is so relaxing, super helpful for anxiety reduction and you get something attractive at the end of it. If you want to give someone a mindfulness gift, coloring books are a great way to go! Amazon has some great ones, some geared specifically towards mindfulness and some are a little more creative, I've selected a few of each.
Mindfulness Posters For Children's Classrooms
School is a great place to teach children from as young as 5yrs old how to be mindful. Start theme early. Imagine the behavior and air of calm the classroom will have with all the children on task and focused. Its a win win for teacher and students. Some forward thinking schools do teach mindfulness and have meditation time instead of detention. It's proving to be very effective. I've sourced some popular Mindfulness, Creative and Positive Mindset Posters and Packs via Amazon that are ideal for schools and classrooms.