Can you believe it’s that time of year again for many of us? Back to school, university and the office after the summer holidays. But this time in a completely different way to any other year thanks to Covid 19! Donned with face masks, hand wash and sanitizers our loved ones have once again gone off into the big wide world to brave yet another year of education and work.
What better time for us all then to try and achieve new levels of consciousness and calm, so as to navigate this unprecedented and overwhelming time ahead.
So today we are going to talk all things Mindfulness ……
Mindfulness means “being in the moment. Achieving a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and our surrounding environment regardless of what is happening around us.
Mindfulness can be summed up in one sentence… “STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES!”
When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment, the here and now rather than going over and over the past or obsessing about the future. It allows us to relax fully into what is happening moment to moment. We've come to equate mindfulness with “good feeling” emotions such as joy, relaxation, happiness and contentment.
But in this fast paced, technologically driven world mindfulness can be an extremely difficult state of mind to achieve for two main reasons:
- we cannot force or dictate to the mind what not to think. ...
- we get our sense of self and personal identity through those very thoughts.
Is mindfulness something that we can learn or is it something you have to be born with?
Mindfulness is actually a form of meditation with an important aspect to it—acceptance. It allows you to become aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. However mindfulness is different to meditation in that it involves the awareness of “some-thing,” – everything that is happening around you in the here and now, while meditation is the awareness of “no-thing.” Certain studies have suggested that mindfulness training can reduce stress levels, anxiety, depression and pain. It could go a long way in addressing some of our mental, emotional and spiritual health problems!
So mindfulness then is a state that can be brought on through practice. It's not static, and it’s not something you are born with. It involves intention, practice, awareness, and an attitude that is non-judgmental, curious, and kind.
So how do we get started…?
- Be open and give it a try…you never know what can happen
- Sit on a comfortable straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor
- Focus on your breathing, on aspects of it…..the air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
- Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and your ideas.
- Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race or wander, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again
- Work with this awareness, dwell on each thought and emotion, return to it again and again
- Keep your focus on what is occurring in the present moment, simply observing thoughts, feelings, sensations as they arise.
- Pay attention. It's hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste.
- Now take this into every aspect of your life…as you go to work, school, grocery shopping or driving in your car. Take in all the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations around you and take note of your reaction to them. Process them in the here and now. Enjoy and experience the moment!
But what if it’s a bad moment?
Crystal expert and international workshop leader Judy Hall puts it beautifully….Mindfulness teaches us true acceptance….It is what it is! But she goes further in that “it does not switch off memory, but uses what is valid and appropriate at the time". As every moment in our lives is not perfect and bad times happen, mindfulness does not only help us deal with the calm and joyful moments of life only, but also the difficult ones.
How do you deal with the present moment when that moment is unbearably awful? When you practise mindfulness you learn how to stay calm and centred, knowing that ‘this too will pass’.
“Many people with intense, chronic physical or mental pain, serious illnesses or extremely challenging life situations are finding that they too can cope with the seemingly unendurable” Judy Hall
And with mindfulness training …so can you.
By using Crystals we can get a step closer to constant mindfulness, well-being, joy and health. They help to give us the courage and ability to shut off our irritating automatic pilot allowing us to move into our awareness of ourselves in the here and now. To embrace life as it happens in all it’s wonderful, challenging glory.
Switch off automatic pilot with Malachite This stunning crystal allows you to tune in and focus on the here and now. If you have been suppressing toxic thoughts or emotions, Malachite helps to bring them to the surface, allowing you to work through old anger, negativity and psychosomatic causes of disease. Malachite helps to break old ties and patterns, releases inhibitions and pre-conceived ideas, allowing you to be your true authentic self without judgement.
Calcite promotes concentration and stimulates thinking. It encourages the acceptance that is key to mindfulness. Calcite helps to create a feeling of hope, courage and self-confidence in your abilities. It is an amazing mineral to help calm the mind, achieve inner peace, and remove negative energy from a room and so is a wonderful aid when starting a mindfulness meditation.
Obsidian Known as the "psychic vacuum cleaner," helps to absorb and clear irritation and anxiety leaving you calm and grounded. It’s a wonderful stone to help clean up all past negativity and emotional damage and has powerful metaphysical properties, which can be a wonderful help in shielding you against negativities.
Turquoise has been used for centuries and is known in holistic healing communities for its ability to restore physical, mental and spiritual balance. Turquoise is associated with the ability to speak and live our truth. It’s a stone that helps us to overcome our inhibitions and negative behaviour patterns associated with stifling our true feelings so as to keep others happy. It allows you to embrace your truth in the here and now and to live it unapologetically.