How Do We Integrate Mindfulness into Our Lives?

Still Nature Scene. Copyright: aesta1

In the previous post on mindfulness, I focused on mindfulness and its benefits for us, Seniors. This post will outline mindfulness techniques we can easily incorporate into our daily lives to cultivate a greater sense of present-moment awareness and well-being. I included here the ones that I have tried to practice:

1. Mindful Breathing

Paying attention to your breath is a fundamental mindfulness practice. You can do this easily while doing your everyday chores. All you have to do is to find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and bring your attention to the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Become aware of the rise and fall of your abdomen or the feeling of air passing through your nostrils. Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath.

2. Body Scan

This technique involves systematically bringing awareness to different parts of your body. Starting from your toes and moving upward, gently scan your body, noticing any sensations or areas of tension. As you do this, keep a non-judgmental awareness of each part of your body. Allow any feeling to be present and be present to it. Do not try to change any of them.

3. Mindful Observation

Choose an object or element from your surroundings, such as a flower, a piece of art, or a scene in Nature. Direct your attention to that object and observe it as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Notice its colours, shapes, textures, and any other details. Engage all your senses and fully immerse yourself in observing that object.

4. Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is a way to practice mindfulness while moving. Choose a quiet space and amble, paying attention to each step and the sensations in your feet as they make contact with the ground. Feel the energy from the ground under your feet. 

Notice the movements of your body and the environment around you. If your mind wanders, gently guide your attention back to the sensations of walking.

5. Loving-Kindness Meditation 

This practice involves cultivating love, compassion, and kindness towards oneself and others. Start by sitting comfortably and bring to mind someone for whom you have warm feelings. Repeat phrases such as “May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe” while genuinely extending those well-wishes to that person. Gradually expand your circle of well-wishing to include yourself, loved ones, neutral individuals, and even difficult people. I often light a candle for the person I want to send love to.

6. Mindful Eating

While eating, take a moment to slow down and fully engage your senses. Notice the colours, smells, and textures of your food. Chew slowly and savour each bite, paying attention to the flavours and sensations. Be present with the entire eating experience, from the moment you pick up your food to the moment you finish.

Remember that mindfulness is a practice, and it’s normal for your mind to wander during these exercises. The key is gently bringing your attention back to the moment without judgment. As you integrate these techniques into your daily life, you’ll gradually develop a greater sense of mindfulness and present-moment awareness.

Being One With You

Being One With Yourself

These four words recently struck me as I spent time during the pandemic watching self-help videos. I have ignored these videos for some time, but I got into it during the lockdown. Some were not helpful, but others opened me to what I needed to do in my life. Because I was devoid of many engagements during the lockdown and was engaged entirely only with myself, I got to know it better.

The value of being one with my inner being became very compelling to me.

The dark side of my inner self revealed itself to me.

I talked to myself. I began to be more aware of what is happening in myself. I started to know it, explored its inner realities and what a surprise it was. I got to know myself better and learned so much about my inner being. This inner world had been waiting for me to know it better, and as I started exploring it, I delved into its dark side.

This dark side greatly influenced my actions and decisions, and I didn’t even know how much it affected me.

I felt its fears, insecurities, deficiencies, sorrows, anxieties, and secrets. It astounded me that I connected to it, got to know it and brought it to light. As I dug deeper, I found my inner self beneath these, a self full of light, beauty and capable of creating a life. I started connecting to this creative self, and my life changed.

Could this be real?

My life became magical as, each day, I welcome the daily unfolding, the unknown getting known. A different pattern unfolded before me, something I created but not with the usual effort of the previous self but with the ease of connecting to power within one’s self.

Now, I love these moments of being with myself, getting to connect to its power to its depth, to its unending capacity. I realize I am not seeking my mission in life which for years I agonize over. I strive for myself, the self that is my gift to the world. It’s my self as it continues in its creative unfolding.

Here I am, universe. I am the gift, the mission, the calling. I am as I become and connect to the universe.

I had for years felt the longing for home, not the physical home.

I was restless wherever I was as the longing got even more intense. I moved from country to country, and this longing kept nagging at me. I did not understand it, so I ignored it, but it stayed on. Recently, with time for myself, alone with myself, I have come home. To a world right there inside of me and yet connected to all.

I have come home.

I now realize I have one call, one mission, and that is “to be.” To be the fully developed being that I am. As I do this, I become more connected to the world because I become one with the world as I become one with myself. Oneness. No more division. Wholeness.

Time to Wake Up

Life is a gift of the Universe. Retirement is a time to wake up. Awaken to all the possibilities life brings. Finally, the challenges of raising a family and racing to the top of your career are behind you. Start anew.

How do we do this? Explore your area. Familiarize yourself with all the resources you can find around you. Take a more in-depth look now. Don’t just pass by. By the time you get home, your mind will be full of ideas about how to make your retirement fun.

FUN is the word. Forget all the obligations that tied you down all these years. This time is for you. We live in a time when it is best to grow old. Why am I saying this? We have all the resources to live as fully as we want. If you’re going somewhere, there’s active transport. Uber and Lyft are willing to bring you anywhere. There are discounts for Seniors for the activities you might think of doing, so what’s keeping you from enjoying your retirement?

Ah, many things do this to you. I know it so well because I have experienced them as well. There are countless worries about your health, finances, safety and many more. We can easily list a thousand and one reasons to keep ourselves from having fun.

Time to wake up, to be aware of the things around us. But what is more crucial is to be mindful of our environment and ourselves. With waking up, we are not just talking about fun. Make it fun, but the other result of waking up is a change in awareness.

When before, we were always busy about many things, now is the time to go deeper and inward into ourselves. Now, we have more time to listen to ourselves as there are not a hundred things to do on our list. Sometimes, there is nothing to do.

With the recent lockdown, you had so much time because of the limited social interaction. Many of you were upset that you couldn’t see your families, especially your grandchildren. You miss all of them. But now, it is the best time to go into yourself and become a better person so you can be a gift to your families. Imagine their wonder when they see you – your newly transformed self, the New You.

Waking Up is not a significant activity at all. It will not take too much time. All you need to start is allocate a few minutes every morning upon waking up. Spend a few minutes in silence, listening to your inner self. You will be surprised at what you’ll discover. Look at yourself closely and learn to appreciate it. Maybe you’ll find something you may not like at all. Look at it. Know it better and transform it. Right now, at your age, you already have the resources to deal with anything you’ll find. Your experience managing your life successfully for over 60 years is enough qualification. You are certified by experience to handle any of your discoveries. Embrace all – both the positive and the negative. These are just sides of the whole, opposite sides of our single self.

Wake up and have fun. Start Now.