Getting Started with Mindfulness: Being Present
So when we focus on being present in mindfulness, we are actively rewiring our brains to get back to the place where we are able to slow down and just be. This may sound like a difficult goal to achieve when we live in such a fast-paced society, but this is a muscle you can strengthen with intention and practice. And if you’re intimidated by or skeptical of meditation, know that mindfulness can be as simple as tuning into your breath for a few moments.
To begin bringing your awareness into the present, try this simple mindfulness exercise:
Find a comfortable seated position with your feet planted on the ground. Sit up straight with good posture.
Close your eyes and notice your breath. Don’t alter it, just simply notice.
Notice the feeling of your feet on the ground. How does it feel? Is the ground cold, or manmade, or hard, or earthy?
How does your body feel? Are you holding tension anywhere, is it warm, is there a breeze on your skin?
Open your eyes and bring your awareness back to your day.
This exercise can last as long as you’d like: it could be as short as a minute, or as long as a fifteen minute meditation. Length isn’t the point right now; it’s simply getting familiar with the feeling of calling in mindfulness and being present for a moment. This is the muscle you strengthen; just as you don’t start an exercise routine with 50 pound weights when you’ve never worked out before, you don’t start a mindfulness practice with an hour-long session.
This week, try carving out 5 minutes every day to drop into this awareness and feel your feet on the ground. Once you get a feel for that, see if you can pop into this zone at random; during a work meeting, on the bus, or while you’re cooking dinner. (Your eyes don’t always need to be closed, of course!) Do you notice any shifts in your mindset? Are you better able to call in this awareness with practice?
Mindful. (n.d.) Getting Started with Mindfulness. https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/