Like other practices, the application of mindfulness has its supporters, teachers, and various methods that help us experience its richness and the good it brings.
When trying to embed a new habit, many of us make the mistake of trying to do too much. Start with small steps and find the technique that works for you .
My beginnings with mindfulness did not start purposefully, yet I can remember taking some very conscientious morning walks in the forest during my childhood. In fact, immersing ourselves in a space that has a soothing effect on us and allows us to relax is literally and non-literally the best place to start our mindfulness practice.
Leaving behind yesterday's work meeting, the problem of an uncooked dinner, or any plans for the following week, simply immerse yourself in the present moment.
Immersing yourself in the present moment is immersing yourself in the moment's breath.
This seemingly cheap slogan has tremendous power.
It should not be confused with passivity or indifference to the future. Let's perceive it as a time to connect with nature, our breath, and ourselves.
Every practice requires learning, time and patience (not necessarily in the same order). Everything has its rhythm, don't rush, and don't get discouraged. Take your time, and use mindfulness as your very own personalised practice - allow it to take as long as you and your body need.
- Mindfulness outdoor practice -
During the Spring, when days are getting longer, try to escape from the city to the forest or seaside (even on weekdays) to breathe in nature for at least an hour.
Personally, those much-needed outdoor trips became so intense and frequent at some point that my husband started calling me a “Forest Lady”, yes, that is right (lol): I even remember the day when my new nickname saw the light of day:
It was the end of October when I came back from work, very stressed and tired. My husband was resting with one of his favourite games at the time. He looked at me and asked: “Honey, is something wrong? Can I help you somehow?"
I sat next to him with tears in my eyes and whispered: “Take me to the forest…please.”
His eyes were wide open: “To the forest? Again?”
“Yes, to the forest.” I was now staring blankly ahead.
“But this is the third time this week ... and it's ...Wednesday..." He smiled at me and hugged me tightly: “Such a Typical Forest Lady. From now on, I will call you Forest Lady!”...
I smiled back: “You can call me whatever you want, just take me to this forest, I need a walk in nature away from this city traffic. I need quiet and fresh air.”
A few months ago, we created another new habit which involved having music in the car. Recently, Smooth Chill radio has been dominating our playlist (only and exclusively relaxing music, sounds, and poetry for the ear and soul). After calming the mind in such a way, a walk in the forest becomes even deeper in experience and facilitates entering the state of mindfulness.
The forest became my space for practising mindfulness, and I later moved to walks by sea or sitting in the garden.
Saying that, each of us has a place where we feel like a fish in the sea. For some, it will be a forest, meadow, field, or park, and for others, a garden, beach, or a walk along cliffs.
So How to start?
To begin, choose a place least crowded with people so that you can focus only on your experiences.
During your mindful walk, look around carefully, and focus your eyes on the leaves, tree barks, flowers, waves, rocks, and the sun.
Do not judge, or even approve of anything. Just observe and focus on your emotional responses.
When thoughts unrelated to this place come to you, notice them, then allow them to drift away and return to observation. Do not get angry with yourself or with the thoughts that will constantly try to draw your attention to themselves.
My lovely, just started practising mindfulness - a practice that involves exercising the reflex of awareness. I repeat: Every practice takes learning, time and patience. This is your own time and your own practice - which will take as long as you need. Don't judge, trust.
When you feel comfortable and safe close your eyes.
Take a few deep breaths, and immerse yourself in the singing of the birds, the smell of flowers, the sound of waves, and the rustling of leaves.
Feel with all your senses the moment you are in - this moment. Feel the air on your face, the peace of the present moment.
You are here, in the forest, park, by the sea, in the garden, walking
Focus on what is currently happening with and within your body.
smile at yourself,
and hug yourself (or the person you are with.)
Feel the universal energy of nature - the breath of the moment.
Focusing on the beauty of the landscape, bird songs, and fresh air can be our first exercise, then we can slowly transform these small actions into a complete Morning routine, Mindful Shower, Mindful Evenings, Mindful Listening, Mindful Eating, Mindful Commute, or Journaling.
As you already know from my articles, The practice of mindfulness can add value to anything and help us all live more in the present moment and with more compassion.
Mindfulness walks also helped me maintain physical activity, which undoubtedly had a positive effect on the condition and health of my legs and the whole body.
Open your mind and clear your soul.
With more than love- NvL.
Editor : Natalia Arantes De Souza
picture by Tatiana Sirikova