Today is Fitness Friday, and Let’s Mix it Up.
Sure, physical fitness is important, but so is something I call “inner” fitness. Let’s take a dive into what it means to be mindful.
I have a friend who can’t stand the word “mindful.” It’s such a cliche, she groans. In some ways, the word itself is overused, but to put mindfulness into action can change your life. We know that today, many of us are moving fast, ADHD rates are climbing among adults and children and our attention seems to be scattered. I was at the doctor’s office this week, and the nurse apologized four times (once because I had to wait three minutes). I thought: there is nothing for the nurse to apologize for. She was rushing around, and not being very mindful.
You’ve heard that “time is the new money” and often folks just don’t seem to have enough time. One way to slow down time is to simply learn to notice, and an easy way to do this is just sit and watch your breath. You can try it now: inhale through the nose, silently counting to four. Lightly hold the breath, then exhale long, counting to four. Watching your breath is one way to immediately become mindful.
We also know the power of holding off on saying hurtful words to others. But what about saying those same things about yourself? As a yoga teacher, I see students judge and criticize themselves on the mat. Do you get mad at your left knee for being stiff? Or just hate the extra weight you’ve gained?
When you slow down to watch how your mind works, you have time to notice — whether it’s a thought or a feeling that may be harmful to you or to others. You then have the time to hold off or make a different choice like treating yourself with gentleness and compassion.
You do have control over your own thoughts, and being mindful creates more conscious thought, which clears the way for more joy. The practical applications of being mindful are enormous. Imagine loving yourself exactly as you are, accepting your flaws, your strengths and seeing how lovable you are. Allow yourself to be “flawsome.” To be flawsome is the ability to accept your flaws and still be awesome. We all have that power, and it may even bring some peace into your life. Who couldn’t use more of that?
Go forth and be mindful!
– Kelley Colihan Robertson, E-RYT