Mindfulness and my challenge to you

IMG_36711I’m sure you’ve heard the latest buzz word in the health world lately- ‘mindfulness’.  You may even have tried to incorporate it more into your life already.  It’s a simple concept that’s hugely important for all of us.  Mindfulness basically means being 100% in the present moment whether you’re on a walk or doing dishes.  Focusing on your breath while practicing yoga is one way of the most common ways that I am mindful.  It’s a tough practice and one that I constantly have to remind myself about.  I’m also working on finding ways to teach my kids about mindfulness.  As stated in this Time article, ‘improving mindfulness showed to improve everything from social skills to math scores’ in kids.

Yes, kids seem to have an innate ability to living in the present, rarely worrying about past or future events, however they are not so great at always remaining cool, calm, and collected (at least, mine aren’t).  It’s been shown that mindfulness in kids also helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus.  Does it get any better than that?!  The article 8 ways to teach mindfulness to kids has some great tips that I’ll be implementing, some easier than others, but for these types of rewards, it’s worth the trying.  I know being mindful helps me in infinite ways so just imagine if a person has this skill throughout all of his peacefully content life.

A wonderful way to improve mindfulness as an adult is to practice meditation, a skill I’ve always struggled with.  During my various yoga trainings, there was always a part on mediation that I love learning about but hated practicing.  I’m a busy person with what they call a ‘monkey mind’ and would usually rather be ‘getting stuff done’ rather than ‘just sitting there’.  Can you relate?  I know all about the benefits of mediation and know that it’s an imperative skill for anyone with a regular yoga practice but it’s just never been something I’ve been ‘good’ at.  I need to remind myself that meditation, just like yoga, is ‘a practice not a performance’, as an old teacher used to say.

So, this coming Monday I’m going to start meditating, for real this time, and on a regular basis.  I will make the time.  I will ‘just sit there’!  But I won’t be totally alone.  No, I’m not talking about the kids, I’m talking about Deepak and Oprah!  I’ve signed up for their 21 day ‘meditation experience’ or as I’m calling it, the ‘meditation challenge’.

My challenge to you is to sign up and join me.  It’s free, so why not?!  It starts on Monday, 3/16, so sign up here asap.  We all could benefit from a bit more mindfulness in our lives and meditation is a perfect way to start.  Did I mention Deepak and Oprah?  Did I mention it’s free?  I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

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