joY is . . . Mindfulness.
But what is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be defined in many ways and is a nuanced and layered ancient practice, but perhaps the simplest, most fundamental definition is this:
Mindfulness is the ability to notice our thoughts and feelings in the present moment, to really notice them, to feel them in our bodies and to name them. It allows us to create a pause where we might simply breathe into what we think and feel for just a few moments, or for much longer even, in a gentle effort not to be yanked around by our thoughts and feelings, but to use what we think and feel as information for more intentionally guiding ourselves through stress. In this way, we create space, a pause before speaking or acting, so that maybe we can gain the opportunity to more deliberately choose what we will think or do or say and perhaps choose thoughts, actions and words that bring less suffering and more . . .
Mindfulness, over time, can allow us space to:
know ourselves better
feel more connectedness
find increased gratitude
heal the body and mind
repair and build relationships
be more effective in our work
explore our meaning and purpose
ask questions that help us grow
harness ease and flow in our days
and so much more . . .
A Mindfulness practice is really vital in times of stress, giving us increased awareness of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings and allowing us room to pause before judging or reacting. And it is definitely vital in the absence of stress too. Deliberate awareness, stillness, quiet and calm can help us find the beauty we might not be noticing and to experience life in a deeper and more rich way. Whatever you are experiencing now, Mindfulness practices are beautiful additions to a life that is meant to be NOTICED!