Sunday Musings | Mindfulness

Beauty blogger Zoe Newlove writes a piece on Mindfulness
Beauty blogger Zoe Newlove writes a piece on Mindfulness
Beauty blogger Zoe Newlove writes a piece on Mindfulness
One phrase I have heard over and over is the popular mantra: Live in the moment. 
But do we really live by this statement? Are we truly living in the moment? In the here and now? Right, now, this very second. 
How many of us spend our days planning for the future? How many of those days turn into weeks, months, possibly even years? Always thinking about the next step, a plan of action, making never ending to do lists? Setting ourselves new goals, new targets. 
Hands up
I certainly do. I spend so much of my time making blog schedules, work schedules, shopping lists, to do lists. My life revolves around a jam packed diary. Conversations consist of squeezing in that long needed catch up over coffee, two weeks from now. Setting alarms, rushing to get to the next location, when actual life, in that moment, is simply passing by in a blur. 
In my very first Sunday Musings I toyed with the idea of Mindfulness, without even understanding what it was, and today I want to dabble with this topic a little more. 
What is Mindfulness? It is about being present. It is a state of awareness. Purposely paying attention to everything, every thought, every action, every sense. It is a way of being, something that takes practice, and something which can have an  amazing impact on our well being. 
Thousands of thoughts dash in and out of our minds, every minute. Can you imagine having the ability to control your thoughts, in a non-judgmental manner, and keeping yourself in the present? It is a daunting task, is Mindfulness, but one that is worth mastering. 
I have read quite a few books now on this subject and I find it unbelievably interesting. I thought I would share my experience with Mindfulness so far, and it all begins with birds. 

From a young age I have been fascinated with birds. This may sound quite nerd-ish, but it is true. My Mum and Dad bought me my very first pair of binoculars and a garden bird book when I was the age of 10. Whilst other kids were playing on the latest Nintendo Game Boy (Okay, I had one of these too) I would be sat at my bedroom window with a little note book marking down the types of birds I could see. I found everything about them fascinating.

I find one way to remain in the present, is to watch and to listen to birds. Paying attention to the sounds and the movement of these creatures, or any living animal for that matter, really focuses your attention to the present moment. You naturally become aware of what is happening right before you. 

I will walk to work and purposely not carry my phone in my hand, and I will leave my iPod at home. Instead, I listen to the birds chirping away, talking to one and other and it just makes me smile. I will look up to the sky randomly and catch a group of birds shooting around chimneys and diving into trees. This whole process has an instant calming effect on me. I realise how lucky I am in that moment, to be able to see the goings on in nature around me, to even have the gift of sight at all. I feel priviliged that I can hear the rustling of the leaves and the fluttering of wings. 

How often do we take our in built sensory system for granted, on a daily basis? 

Practicing Mindfulness enables you to form an entire new sense of gratitude for life itself. We really have no control over our futures, or our destiny. I believe it is already written for us, somewhere in those sparkling stars. We can obviously choose our own paths and have fun along the way, but speaking from personal experience here, your life can change in an instant, moulded and manipulated by someone else’s hands. In my case, sadly, a personal tragedy changed my life forever, and it was then I knew, we truly do have to appreciate every last second we have in this unfolding universe. 

As I am finishing this post off, I am trying my best to not only type these words out in a way so that they read clearly, but I am also noticing the touch of my finger tips on the keyboard, the sound of the washing machine behind me, and the slow, steady beat of my heart.