Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact I’d try to do nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
[Nadine Star, 85 year old resident of Louisville Kentucky]
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, the here and now, while our mind tries to escape, wandering in the past, in the future, anywhere but the present moment.
Mindfulness is moment to moment awareness. It is cultivated by purposefully paying attention to things we ordinarily never give a moment’s thought to.
[Jon Kabat-Zinn, 1990]
Mindfulness enables us to see and feel our responses, and noticing this response in our bodies is the first step of being able to break habitual reactions. We can then choose how to respond rather than habitually react.
Body Scan Meditation
1. Choose one everyday activity you will do in a mindful way (for example: the first cup of tea in the morning; preparing lunch; talking to your partner when you come back from work; reading).
2. Several times a day come back to the present moment, pause and ask yourself: What is going on for me right now? How am I feeling right now? Notice when you are having a pleasant moment. Remember: when triggered into a stress reaction, bring in the breath. Notice what is happening for you in the moment, then make a choice to respond.