GYM VLOG #4
Author: Julia Dulgerova
I know that we can all agree that our world tends to be extremely fast paced. You wake up, do your morning routine, go to work/school, come home, eat dinner, and go to bed. And there are many tasks that need to be done in between, like putting away laundry and buying groceries. We are constantly go go go, and we often forget to really take a minute to sit with our own minds and think about why we do what we do on a daily basis. We rush through our days like we are on autopilot and aren’t fully aware of all the things we are doing.
I can attest to this. Sometimes I completely forget what I was about to grab from my room, or I do silly things like forget to take my jacket off by the door because I’m already thinking about the next thing. We forget things, eat without actually savoring our food and instead stare at a screen, get stuck on things we wish we had or hadn’t said, and so on.
So how can being mindful and doing things with intention help?
First, let’s go over the definitions. Mindful means focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, especially as part of a therapeutic or meditative technique. And intention means an aim or a plan.
In Tessa Watts book “Mindfulness”, she writes
“Aware – of your body, your mind and the environment
Present – in this moment; right here, right now
Focused – more able to make choices about where you place your attention
Embodied – being in your body; bringing your mind and body into synch
Accepting – of yourself and other people”
Mindfulness has been something that has been encouraged in practice for thousands of years. Being present in the moment is something that can even makes us happier because it gets us in touch with our inner selves. Buddhism focuses on mindfulness as its core practice more than other religions. Buddhists have developed many training for the mind that make people more present, focused, and aware of the things in life. Current mindful training mostly stems from Buddhist tradition, for example meditation and breathing techniques, all of which are extremely wonderful for creating a healthy state of mind. But you don’t have to be Buddhist or any type of religion to practice mindfulness.
In order to be mindful, the first thing you must do is become aware of how you are autopiloting through life. You might eat your lunch and get to your last spoon of meat stock without actually savoring the flavor and imagining how it’s healing your body. You might lay in bed about to fall asleep when you realize you forgot to submit your assignment. Then you go down a train of thought that you forgot to submit your work, you’ll get a zero and no chance to make it up, fail your class, not graduate, and never succeed. Our tendency to be so autopilot through life triggers feelings of stress and anxiety. Most of us have a pattern of thoughts that our brain leads us into especially when things don’t go as perfect as we had hoped. And we find ourselves upset and in a bad mood without even knowing how we got there.
Through mindfulness and intention, we can realize how we go through life on autopilot, and we get a chance to step out of that cycle and be in the present moment. As we begin to see what is actually happening around us, in our body, in our mind and our environment, we can make huge improvements in our daily lives.
It’s hard to make huge changes all at once so start small.
Next time you eat (for example meat stock) don’t bring a screen along. Every spoonful you take, think about the flavor. Imagine how the warm stock is traveling through your body and getting to your stomach. Imagine how it’s nourishing you and healing your body. How it’s repairing the gut flora and allowing your body to finally get the nutrients it’s been craving.
Meat stock is super high in different gelatin, collagens, vitamins and minerals. The connective tissue on the meat helps our own connective tissue including our gut and intestinal walls. Then adding ferments to your diet like cabbage and beet tonic helps add beneficial bacteria to your gut flora that will repair gaps and spaces in between microbes that could let through undigested food.
When you go outside to get to the car or back into your home, take a minute to listen to the birds sing. You can even make it a game by trying to decipher the different bird songs and predict how many different birds are around. Look at the state of nature around you. Maybe it hasn’t rained in a bit and the earth is dry, or maybe you just got a rainstorm, and the greenery is flourishing. Feel the air on your skin. It may be cold or warm, or breezy or still.
It doesn’t take much time or energy to start implementing practices of mindfulness into your life.
It’s helpful to have an idea of your intentions before you begin being more mindful. When you reach tough parts of our journey, we can remember the initial thing that made you start and find the motivation to move forward and continue. See if you can think of something you wish you could do better. Maybe it’s how you feel in social situations, maybe it’s the anxiety you get from schoolwork, it could be anything. Mindfulness will help you and your mind in any situation.
So sit down for a few minutes and bring awareness to your body. Feel your feet on the ground, your palms wherever they are rested, and the weight of your body on the surface you are on. And think about why you want to learn to be more mindful? What brought you here? See what you realize to be your response, try to digest these thoughts and pick them apart so it’s easier for you to understand. You may want to practice mindfulness to be calmer, to better cope with anxiety and stress, prevent depression, concentrate and focus, become more accepting of yourself and others, and much more.
Mindfulness and intention can create a safe space away from the rush and busyness of life. Allowing times in your day where you can slow down for a moment and appreciate or even just acknowledge what is happening around you will ultimately bring you a peace of mind.
Here are some links to resources that may help you to practice mindfulness and intention!
Mindfulness, Pre-Owned Hardcover 1606713310 9781606713310 Tessa Watt – Walmart.com
The Little Book of Intentional Living : Manifest the Life You Want Through the Power of Intention (Paperback) – Walmart.com
Video About Mindfulness
The Power of Mindfulness: What You Practice Grows Stronger | Shauna Shapiro | TEDxWashingtonSquare – YouTube
Video About Intention
Living With Intent | Mallika Chopra | TEDxSanDiego – YouTube