About 10 years ago I slowed down my work life and took a few months to explore some lingering interests that never seemed to get any attention. One of these activities was baking. I’m not an expert and will never be, still, it was fun to dig into different recipes and techniques. One thing I discovered is that there are some foods out there that, while you could make them from scratch, are just as good (or better) in package form and save you a hell of a lot of time. Pumpkin for pumpkin pie is one, graham crackers and Oreo’s are others – let me know if you want to see the recipes I used for any of those.
My point? I could try to define mindfulness for you right now in my own words, instead I’ll share this animated video that does it in a fun and informative way.
I’ll further point you to an incredibly comprehensive, well-researched, intuitive website from experts in the field that covers their own definition of mindfulness as well as what it can do for you and how to do it. If you’re so inclined, you’re going to find something you connect with in there (even if you’re clicking on the content they feature that addresses the limitations of mindfulness). This buffet of mindfulness information is at your fingertips, courtesy of UC Berkeley’s amazing Greater Good Science Center. Here’s what they have to say about our topic:
Why Practice It? There are 17 bullet points here folks, each touting 2 or more specific benefits. The list makes mindfulness sound like a cure-all, it’s not. It is a piece in the puzzle of sustaining well-being. Having an idea of why you want to explore a practice does help motivate you to stick with it, and has a way of focusing your effort so it serves your individual needs. Whether you’re a mindfulness believer, sceptic, current practitioner, or interested newcomer, surfing this list can spark something that inspires you to get on or stay on a mindfulness path.
How Do I Cultivate It? – Get practical, use-right-now tips on practicing mindfulness, watch quick videos on meditation techniques, click on links to learn more about formal programs related to mindfulness.
Mindfulness is not just a practice. It’s a journey, one that you might start, pause, and pick up again at any point in your life. If you’re already on it or want to begin, look for info and inspiration that can help orient, guide, and support you. GGSC is a great resource, there are countless others. Sift through them, try something out, release the ideas and actions that don’t make sense to you, stick with the ones that do, and see what it creates in your life.