Start Your Mindfulness Practice in 5 Easy Steps
Hello! It’s Jessica. If you don’t know me, I’m the founder of Soulful Essence.
I wanted to take a moment and talk about the amazing month we’ve just had! Can you believe it!? Our 30 Days of Mindful Living has come to an end. We’ve been blessed with so much amazing advice from our contributors. I’m so thankful that they’ve taken the time to share their insight with us and I hope it has been as helpful for you as it has been for me!
Since I’ve been blessed with this amazing wealth of knowledge, I think it’s my responsibility to put it to good use! I’ve reviewed all of the insight from the 30 Days of Mindful Living experts and I’ve come up with a list of 5 things that resonated most with me. My goal is to incorporate all of them into my daily life. So without further ado, there they are:
- Dr. Tanya Pergola expressed the importance of practicing mindful eating. She stresses avoiding “screens” (phones, TV’s, computers) and being sure to take the time to experience what you are eating. I always eat in front of my computer while I work. I feel like there is too much to do and I don’t have time to take a meal break. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true! Sometimes when you say (or write) something out loud, you realize how nuts you sound. I’ve already begun to work on this and I notice how much better I feel now that I have begun to dedicate a sacred moment to take my meals.
- Spending a moment in nature is one of the things every single one of our experts mentioned. Wow! I’ve always known that nature heals, it’s why I started Soulful Essence, but thanks to Andreea Ayers, I’ve found a more consistent way to incorporate it into my daily routine. Andreea shared how she takes daily; reflective walks each day before work. This is something I love to do, but again, like the eating, I don’t feel like I can afford to take the time. (Geez, I’ve really been neglecting myself!) Andreea stressed that her morning walks are non-negotiable, no matter what; she goes for a walk before she starts her day. Even if it’s snowing! She also noted how it helps her to be more productive and less stressed in her day. Um, yes please, I need that! I’ve started to incorporate nature walks into my day and added my own special tweak of alternating the nature walks with a yoga and essential oil combo that is divine. So far it’s been amazing!
- Setting an intention for my day is something I’ve played around with in the past, but never really took seriously. However, when I read Hilary Packin’s post, something just clicked. I like the way she recommends choosing an intention each day, and revisiting it throughout the day, especially during times of stress. I’ve already incorporated this into my routine and it’s just silly how well it works! Can you guess what my two favorite intentions are? Hint: “I am compassionate” and “I am calm”, those come in very useful when I’m in traffic ;-).
- Melissa Camilleri reminds us to enjoy the process and not just rush to the end result. This is something I always struggle with. I know that it makes life more enjoyable and the end result that much sweeter, but often times I seem to be in a hurry to move on to the next thing I have to do. Whenever I’m working on something, I think about the next 5 items on my to do list and I wind up rushing through life and making a lot more mistakes than I would have if I had just taken the time to enjoy the process. This is something that I’ve started working on as well and I can’t believe how much it has reduced my stress level.
- I think the best overall mindfulness tip offered during the 30 Days of Mindful Living is to be aware in the present moment. It makes all the other points listed above possible. Every one of the experts explained this in many different ways, so it’s proof of how important it is. But how do you do that? Sabina Padilla’s explanation really resonated with me; she suggested that I be aware of my senses in the present moment. That, I completely understood. Nothing brings me into the present moment like the sense of smell and I think that is why aromatherapy is such a powerful tool. When I diffuse my essential oils or use one of my mists, I’m instantly brought into the present moment and depending on my mood at the time, I pick the blend that will help bring me back to my center and create a space where I can become more aware in that moment. Isn’t that so cool! I just love plants!
I’ve been working on incorporating these 5 practices into my day, everyday. So far it has been a bit challenging, but also really amazing. For me, this is just the beginning. I want to see if I can make these practices stick and if, like meditation, bathing and brushing my teeth, they too can become a part of my daily ritual. Some days these new practices are pretty easy and other days, not so much. So I’ve decided to embark on a 21-day journey towards mindful living, using these 5 practices as my guide. I’ll be sharing my journey on my personal blog: essencealchemist.com, if you’d like to follow along. Wish me luck!
I’d really love to hear what has resonated with you during our 30 Days of Mindful Living. Have you put anything into practice or do you plan to start soon? Let’s support each other on this journey! Share your experiences in the comments below.