Practicing Mindfulness


Discussion 1 Comment


Have you ever locked your keys in the car? Tripped while walking? Made a comment that you wish you could take back? Lost your phone? In a conversation but no idea what was said?

These are most times the results of the practice of mindlessness. When our thoughts and attentions are scattered in multiple directions. Theres pieces of your mind at work, at home, at dinner last night, a conversation you had, in the next day off, your upcoming vacation and on and on. This scattered mental energy lessens your awareness in the present moment, therefore accidents and mistakes are more prone to happen because your simply NOT THERE..

We are in a go, go , go society, full of distractions, and multitasking. There are times when life requires us to do multiple things at once, and I once enjoyed that busy rush of energy. Made the time go by faster and a feeling of accomplished productivity and exhaustion at the end, and all for what? Just to get up and jump back into that same energy, not realizing mistakes being made, or the situations or people you cannot be fully present for, the time lost, not to mention the stress it does to the body.

What I love about the practice of mindfulness is the ability to be fully present. If I am driving, if I am washing the dishes, talking on the phone, sitting with a friend, my attention is on that. There are times when I get profound messages or insights during this practice. I could do whatever it is for hours and not notice the time passed. There is joy and contentment in being mindful, and others feel this when they are around you.

I usually drive in silence. I have found that driving without the radio and refraining from talking on the phone (hands-free), allows me to really take in everything around me and truly enjoy the act of driving. Not to mention, I feel more safe and focused. One day, I was either driving to, or, coming from one of the several yoga classes I teach, and came to a red light. I began to scan the area. When my eyes gazed to the the car on my left, I saw a woman in the driver seat. She looked to be about late 30’s, early 40’s. Her face was contorted in pain and appeared to be wet from tears. Her mouth was open in sorrow, and it was if I could hear her cry. Just as I was about to roll down my window and ask if she was ok, the light for her lane turned green and she turned left onto the route.

Maybe she got some bad news, maybe she was going through a breakup, lost a family member, her job, maybe she was in some kind of physical pain? I felt thoughtful and concerned, seemed as if I had absorbed some of what she was feeling. I drove to class with a sadness for this woman, this perfect stranger. When I got to the parking lot I turned the car off and just sat still for a moment, closed my eyes and envisioned her in my mind driving to wherever she was going, with that hurt and heaviness. All I could do is open my heart and send out love and light to her, pray for her burden to be lifted, and hope she made it safely. My own tears were released as the energy moved out and on.

(E.T. is one of my favorite childhood movies)

Had I been jamming to the radio, or engulfed in a podcast or news station, or just simply scattered in thoughts, I may have missed that opportunity. The practice of mindfulness is basically, paying attention ON PURPOSE. That is the reason I was available to see that woman, that I could feel her cry, and ultimately, why I could send her some healing energy.

Where can you be more mindful? Where can you be more conscious and aware? Where can you be more present on purpose?

How about EVERYWHERE…?


-Yoga for Recovery and Self-Discovery, Charlene A. Sams

— Posted on February 15, 2016 at 3:50 pm