We’ve heard the term, but what does it mean? Paying attention in a certain way: on purpose, in the present-moment, non-judgementally. It includes formal and informal practices: sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement like gentle yoga, or something as simple as brushing your teeth. Anything can be done mindfully. The moment you realize you’re not aware, you are. This is the practice, these are the “reps”: constantly beginning again. It’s about training the attention. Anyone can do it, no prior skills are necessary. It’s the attitude you bring that’s most important.
I like the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) method because it’s simple. There are literally thousands of studies corroborating the 8-week MBSR program for depression, anxiety, chronic pain and a range of other conditions. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but it does offer a structured, no-guess-work way of coming at a variety of issues. Not that it’s necessary to have an “issue” – stress-reduction skills are valuable for everyday coping and living your “best” self.
My interest is not all about the science. It has taught me things, whether I felt ready or not. It’s simple but not easy. It’s not a quick fix, but I don’t have to spend ongoing money to do it or buy any special equipment. It has meant practicing letting go of how I want things to look or feel – being in the moment for what is – whatever that may be. It is experiential learning through practice. For me, it has broke open the way to increasing awareness and decreasing discomfort. I continually learn it and live it, and I could not be more excited to share it with anyone who is interested.
I invite you to message me for more information about counselling services, mindfulness classes or trauma-informed yoga classes. As a practicum student at LifeRoots, my services are offered at a reduced-rate, and can be reduced even further if cost is prohibitive.