What Is Mindfulness?

What is mindfulness I hear you ask?

I’m guessing everyone has their own views on what being mindful is all about, depending on their own life experiences.

For me mindfulness is simple, it’s about THINKING and making the right choices without hurting myself or other people.

Thinking before I speak

I’m pretty sure that going to an all girls school added to my gossiping behaviour! But who doesn’t like to gossip?! As I’ve been on this mindful journey over the last few years, I’ve realised that you don’t have to be bitchy in order to have a good old girly gossip. You can have your opinions about people and share those views as long as you’re not being hurtful or judgemental. Also, why waste your time talking about other people, especially if they aren’t adding any kind of positive value to your existence?! Sometimes it’s hard not to speak about someone that really winds you up and if it’s something that you just can’t shake off and keep thinking about, then it’s best to get it out of your system but don’t let negative people consume your mind and energy.

Same goes for when you’re in a heated situation, you just want to blurt out all this verbal diarrhoea just to get your point across and then you sit back and think to yourself did I really say all those hurtful things to someone I care about and then you spend hours or days feeling guilty about it. Yes, we’ve all done that! It’s best to find a way to be strong enough to listen to the other person without interrupting them and then taking your time to come back with your points and opinions on the situation – very mature I know, but we all have to reach this point at some stage AND it’s a really good feeling for your mind, body and soul!

Thinking before I act

For me this one is plain and simple, just be nice to everyone!

People have told me that I’m too nice and after hearing it a few times this made me change my character a little, I tried to be someone I wasn’t and it just didn’t work out for me. I like to treat people how I want to be treated and that’s with kindness and respect.

Thinking before I eat

Growing up I was a really fussy eater, all I wanted to eat was Granny Smith apples and if I didn’t get my daily dose, all hell would break lose, God help my mother! Even throughout my teenage years and up to my mid twenties I was always cautious about what I would eat, partly for health reasons and partly because I didn’t have a big appetite. That all changed when I reached about twenty eight, I just found this new passion and greed for food! The fussy eater vanished and I was open to trying foods from different cultures and I discovered I had a sweet tooth! However, I do think that I had to go through being a little bit greedy to realise what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to poisoning verses nourishing my body.

Now today at the age of thirty two, I think about what I’m putting into my body rather than just eating for the sake of eating. I look at the nutritional value section if I’m buying packaged food and I make my own “sweet” snacks rather than buying them. I’ve swapped milk chocolate for good quality dark chocolate (because we all need chocolate!) and I fill my shopping basket up with more fruit and veg than anything else.

I question things too. If I fancy something sweet, rather than grabbing a chocolate bar, I satisfy that craving with some fruit or raisins. I’ll try to eat more protein than carbs and I have ditched the fizzy drinks for water!

I’m not saying that I don’t ever fall off the wagon with my mindfulness, if I’ve gossiped or made a negative comment about someone, I check myself, forgive myself and move on from it. The same goes for if I’ve eaten something that’s not good for me because I was really craving it, I enjoy it because I’ve mindfully put it in my body and then I carry on with my clean and mindful way of eating.

At the end of the day we’re all human and as long as we’re moving in the right direction of clean living mentally and physically, all we can do is give it our best shot and enjoy the journey, warts and all!