I’ve been talking a lot about mindful minutes lately. To my patients, to mamas, friends and students at schools or facilities I work with. We are a culture that is not stagnant and by this I mean we are constantly in motion. We have so much access to information that we are flooded and overloaded at times. I kid around with my friends about my own tendencies of random thoughts that I’ve compartmentalized and then suddenly they pop up again; jokingly referencing them as tabs or windows open on a computer. I say “I just needed to X out that tab”. I notice that I have to remind myself what it means to pause. To notice.
In today’s world we could be go go go running on coffee and autopilot but is that living? Like truly living? For me, to live life means to notice the waves of life like an ocean, the ups and downs, the flow both gentle and raging. I don’t want to be just on autopilot going through the motions. Because of this I believe taking an intentional pause for quiet time is something I have to practice. It’s a discipline. Taking a minute each day to pause, ask myself what I notice about how I feel, sensations, my thoughts and my surroundings. As challenging as it is to “do”...the irony of that word “do” in itself. The very concept is that it’s non-doing. I’m working to challenge myself to not do, not think or worry but just be aware and acknowledge. An observer!
Silence is hard. We are uncomfortable with silence. And it makes sense with all the access to information, technology devices and more we are overloaded with so much stimuli. It’s often the biggest challenge people face, to slow down. But I am reminded how important that practice is to reflect, for me it gives me a clearer perspective. One that allows me to be more intentional, purposeful and less reactionary. Just one minute a day, 60 seconds. A goal maybe to grow this practice in length of time but not pressured to do so.
Some things to focus on in this minute...notice the breathe fill you. Watch it as you inhale and exhale. Notice the parts of your body connected to the earth, chair, floor etc. Notice what you feel around you. And any feelings or thoughts that come up. Acknowledge them, without reacting. Notice them come, notice them go. Notice them as just a thought passing by. Dwell in only your breathe, dwell in the silence, embracing it. Dwell in stillness. Give yourself the gift of this practice. It’s your own way of validating all things you.
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Anyssa Grendel, BS, LMSW, RYT