Before I became a yoga teacher and before I started to focus on being more conscious about my life, I would have rated my mindfulness a three out of ten. I have always been quite intuitive and aware of myself but I don't think I was very mindful or present.
When I started on my yogic journey, I was blown away by the power of mindfulness and its ability to increase your focus, clarity, decision making skills, calmness and empowerment. Living in the present and being mindful radically reduced my stress and created a space within myself where I could flourish as my body, mind and spirit was firmly planted in the present.
I quickly went from rating myself three out of ten on the mindfulness scale to a seven out of ten. This was just after six months of intensive training to become a yoga teacher, together with a lot of meditation practice and self development. I found that I was a lot clearer with what I wanted out of life, I became extremely conscious about my thoughts and what I 'choose' to think about, and more than anything I felt empowered to be kind to myself.
Mindfulness to me means 'being present', and it can help you in all aspects of your life; relationships, home, career, finances and health. The ability to remain present and mindful will help with any situation you are going through.
Below are two things that you can start to do RIGHT NOW to bring mindfulness into your life:
Firstly, be more aware of your thoughts. You may not like your thoughts and your mind might be going at a million miles per hour but just start to be more conscious of your thoughts. Modern living can disconnect us from the power of our minds and we need to remember that WE ARE POWERFUL and what goes on in our heads creates the world around us. I believe that thoughts are energy and what you think about, you attract.
One of my wise yoga teachers use to say 'you wouldn't let an unwanted guest stay in your house, so why do you let unwanted thoughts stay in your head?'. From this moment right now, start to observe your thoughts and be more mindful about what is going on upstairs. Start journaling if you want to take notes and notice the magic of your mind.
Secondly, do something for yourself everyday. No matter how big or small, just do something for you everyday and make sure that while you are doing it you remain mindful that this is something you are doing for you. For example, I was working in a stressful role and to get me through a challenging phase I would get a hot chocolate every afternoon. It made me feel really good as I would give myself a small treat and at the same time it reminded me of my mindfulness time; I was being kind to myself. It could be 5 minutes of meditation, a long hot shower or going for a walk around the block, but the important fact to remember is that you need to be mindful of this act everyday. The best thing about this action is that it makes you focus on yourself and empowers you to be good to yourself everyday. The world will treat you the way you treat yourself, so ensure that it is kind.
These two actions together with a regular yoga and meditation practice have taken me up the mindfulness scale and able to live a life more firmly planted in the present. If you had to rate your own mindfulness, how mindful are you?