Friday, September 17, 2021

Shining the Light on Mindfulness

The more you change how you see things, the more the things you see change.
Wayne Dyer

During our year of mindfulness, we have taken on many new ideas to expand our mindfulness thinking. This year's posts show the connectedness of mindfulness to many things in our lives. As you move through your mindfulness journey you will find it all connects.

When I began digging deeper into mindfulness and focused on awareness, I found I became quieter and listened more intently. While I was listening to my thoughts, words, and coming to understand my actions in a different way, I noticed that I began observing and listening more intently to others as well. While I considered myself a good listener, this type of mindfulness focused listening was nothing short of enlightening.

I began observing those around me on a whole different level. It helped me see them in a different light. I knew when these observations began it wasn’t my place to criticize. I understood it was my place to allow acceptance without judgement. I began to learn not only about others, but about myself.

Take your calm, quiet awareness and observe. Listen to the world around you without judgement, and you will begin to shine the light on a deeper way of living in mindfulness. It’s time to take the next step on your mindfulness journey. Prepare to be enlightened.

Take care, 
Michelle

If you are having trouble with focusing, make sure you continue with your daily breathing practice. Breathing practice is key to opening doors to mindfulness. It will help still your mind so that you can properly observe and move through the doors as they open. This allows mindfulness to unfold for you. I’ve mentioned that we will begin to step into the realm of meditation. You will need your breathing practice to fully find your space in meditation.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Breathing Practice 6 Humming


While we’ve continued with our breathing practice throughout our mindfulness instructions, we’re going to add a different experience to our breathing. This is an easy one as it takes little thought to perform.

Take a deep, slow breath in through your nose. As you exhale, lightly press your lips together and hum as you slowly exhale through your nose. That’s it!

Why humming?
We are not engaging in just another breathing exercise; we are promoting self-care therapy. Humming creates a different focus and is a way to self-soothe, and quiet the mind and body.

Is there a particular humming method to use?
I mentioned the above example to introduce a new breathing experience into your daily practice. You may want to experiment with humming a different musical note until you find one that fits the mood of the moment, but other than that let’s keep it simple.

Personally, I love humming and use it beyond my breathing practice. I hum to calm my breathing pattern, heart rate, thoughts, and emotions. And sometimes I find myself humming while doing other things. When this happens, I know I’m bringing a sense of peace to the moment whatever it is.

Here are some examples of how I tap into humming:
  • Instead of driving like a maniac to an appointment when I’m running late for one reason or another, I hum and calm myself the entire drive. It guides me to back off the accelerator and accept what is.
  • I hum when driving in traffic or bad weather as it relaxes me and again helps me accept what is.
  • I tune into peaceful humming to self soothe if I find myself anxious, tense, upset, angry, frightened...
  • I hum a tune here and there and sometimes hum no tune at all just non-sensical sounds that seem to delight me.
  • And I find myself humming without realizing I’m doing it when I’m focused on something I enjoy like cooking or gardening, and even while doing things I don’t particularly care to do like house cleaning.
  • Humming has helped me focus during devastating times of my life.
  • A hum here and a hum there has guided me to understanding my feelings and helped me find answers in the space between the notes.

What I’ve come to understand about humming is that it is a powerful tool in my mindfulness practice. You should know that you don’t have to be able to carry a tune to experience the wonders of humming. And you can hum in your head anytime and anyplace without making a sound. Just begin with your daily breathing practice and before you know it, you’ll find a hum here and a hum there when you least expect it. Shall we give it a go?  Hummmmmmmm

Take care,
Michelle

Friday, August 6, 2021

Self Care


Living your life in a mindful manner is taking care of YOU! And that’s what self-care is all about. If we are trying to take care of everything and everyone else, there’s usually nothing left at the end of the day for our self. And, quite frankly, this is a recipe for disaster in terms of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health.
We cannot be for others if we are not be-ing for our self.

Over this past year we’ve spent months on breathing and focus exercises, considered our five senses, immersed our senses in nature, created space, and asked why, why, and why again all for the benefit of bringing mindfulness or true awareness into our lives. Every exercise we have done this year is self-care. If that’s surprising to you then you need to begin to see the self-care picture beyond diet and exercise - with a little quiet time worked in, because it is so much more. Perhaps it would help you to consider self-care as enhanced well-being and bring mindfulness to more things in your life: as you eat, drive to work, grocery shop, meet with a friend, stand in line at the grocery store, brush your teeth, and on and on...

We just need to keep the momentum going and continue our mindful ways. This is not just a one-shot deal, it’s a present moment awareness mindset, a full-on lifestyle choice. It reminds me of the value I have in my emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. My overall intention in my life is to be the best I can be. Focusing on a more mindful lifestyle guides me to achieving my best life.

And guess what? It’s never too late to start, re-start, or kick-start your intention to be mindful. If you haven’t been faithfully following along, just go back to the start of the posts for the year and begin again. See, that’s the thing about the choice of being mindful, it’s okay to begin again.

Take care,
Michelle

What’s next for our year of mindfulness? We’ll be building on our breathing and venture into meditation. Sounds like fun to me!

Photo ©  Dreamstime.com

Friday, July 30, 2021

Creating Mindfulness Space



I’ve written about creating space many times over the years. As we explore mindfulness this year, it begs to be mentioned again. Why, you ask? Ah, nice to know you are asking why. It’s because mindfulness happens when there’s a space for it.

Basically, our brains are on overdrive - think of it as non-stop madness. So, it’s up to us to find mindfulness through observation/awareness/acceptance and create it for ourselves. It is in this created space that gaps open and allow a place for our minds to rest. You may have taken notice of this gap space during some of the breathing exercises this year. And I’m sure you’ve also noted I’ve talked about that’s when the magic happens - well, that magic happens for each of us in clever and mysterious ways. It’s that sense of voice in our heads guiding us to safety, it’s when answers to questions asked float through, it’s where one can find a sense of peace, quiet, and enlightenment. With practice, gaps open more often and allow you to be in this space for longer periods of time. Think of this phenomenon like this - you, the center of peace amidst turbulent times. I understand this space and you can too. Here’s a few simple ways of thinking and being to get the ball rolling on creating mindfulness space:

  • I recently asked you to consider why you like and dislike something. The example was an outfit you see someone else wearing. Now we’re going to get more personal. Let’s look through your closet. Why do you like some clothes and not others? Then why do you have so many clothes in your closet you don’t like or wear anymore? I know, that’s a loaded question! Trust me on this, it’s simple sounding ways of living that will turn the tide for you on mindfulness. Less is more, less is more - your new mantra perhaps? If it helps, decide you are going to do this clothing exercise every few months. So, mark it on the calendar until you feel you have become one with your closet!!! Pull out a few items, try them on, load the ones you are getting rid of in your car then picture yourself feeling happy after you have donated these items to someone who could really use what you no longer wear. Spread the love and create space at the same time! With every attempt at cleansing your closet, you will feel lighter and on your way to making better decisions all the way around.
  • It’s difficult to find space in your mind when you are surrounded by chaos. Take your less is more mantra to your home, office, vehicle one drawer, one room, one area at a time and get rid of the clutter. Don’t fill every space with furniture or every wall with something hanging on it. Allow places in your home for your mind to rest. When you have created space, feel the space when you open the organized drawer or your eye catches a cleared place, and feel good about the direction you are moving. There you go. Mindfulness begets good feelings. Magic!

Continue with earlier exercises from this year - breathing, touching base with your senses, asking why; and now, allow space, space, and more space to fill your life. These mindfulness exercises will come together at one time or another. And don’t be surprised if you find your own exercises for creating mindfulness. Pardon me as I mention this once again - that’s when the magic happens. Stop the madness and be the center of peace amidst turbulent times.

Take care,
Michelle

 

Photo ©  Dreamstime.com

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

FYI Email Subscribers



Since my first It Is What It Is blog post in August, 2010, Google Blogger has been the content management system hosting service I’ve chosen to use. In July, email subscribers will no longer be supported through the web feed management service on Blogger known as Google Feedburner.

What this means to you - you will no longer receive an email notification when I publish new posts. While this has been convenient for my email subscribers, it does not mean the website will cease to exist. For now, email subscribers will need to log into It Is What It Is at http://www.mmclark.com from time to time to see if I have posted.

Currently, I'm looking at the future of It Is What It Is and alternative hosting services. Email subscriptions may be available once again at a later date. Stay tuned...

Take care,
Michelle