Mindfulness requires intention, presence, awareness, kindness and compassion and there are a lot of ways to cultivate these qualities.
Intention is an aim or a plan to do something and it is the spark for the flame.
Awareness means you notice the distracting thoughts, feelings and emotions as they come into your mind and you consciously and gently, bring your focus back to the current moment.
Presence is exactly that, present in body and mind.
Set aside some time each day to practice being Mindful. It might be eating breakfast, your commute to work or a formal practice.
If you choose to eat a meal in a mindful way take notice of the colours of the food, the smell, the taste the feeling within your body.
If you choose a formal sitting meditation start with 5 or 10 minutes focusing on your breathe. Focus on the feeling of the breath in and out the nose or the rise and the fall of your chest. If you are a visual person visualize the breath flowing in and out of your nose. When your attention wanders gently and kindly bring your focus back to your breath.
“Like training a puppy, you will gently bring yourself back a thousand times and start again.” – Jack Kornfield.
Kindness and compassion are wonderful attributes to nurture and the best place to start is with yourself.
Try and practice formally, informally or both everyday for whatever time frame works for you.
If you miss a day don’t worry, get angry about it, or give up just start again tomorrow.
Just like training a puppy you will get better results with repetition and kindness.
Image courtesy ISO Republic, Margo Brodowicz