To kick off my Happiness Project, I picked the theme of Mindfulness. It’s strikingly similar to Gretchin Rubin’s February theme of Self-Awareness.
Mindfulness has been coming up in my reading fairly regularly over the past few months. It is a process of paying attention to one’s self and one’s emotions, and accepting them. One of my favorite articles on the concept, posted at Zen Habits, had this to say about mindfulness:
Inner peace is revealed when the inner war ends. We stop looking outside ourselves for solutions to our problems and, instead, turn our attention inward to make peace with our own experience. This simple movement of attention is revolutionary. It heals, calms, and clarifies like nothing else.
Trent, over at The Simple Dollar, didn’t call it mindfulness, but his experience seems to be typical of the practice of mindfulness meditation:
Once or twice a day, I go into my bedroom, turn down the lights, lay on the bed, and look up at the ceiling. I start off by reflecting on a small handful of things that have really brought me significant joy in the past few days. After a few minutes of that, I focus entirely on emptying my mind for a while, and once that’s done, I just drift without anything in my mind. Sometimes thoughts drift in and out of my head – sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I doze off for a bit – other times, I don’t.
After about twenty minutes of concentrated mental relaxation, I almost always feel refreshed and much more able to tackle whatever is on the table in front of me, whether it’s a household task, some work to be done, some bills to be paid, or anything else. I get that stuff done faster and better than I ever would have done before the meditation.
Call it meditation or prayer or whatever you wish – it flat-out works.
I don’t know a lot about Mindfulness right now, so my first weekly goal is to do some more reading and research.
I’m going to start with the following two items and add a few more to it:
- Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, by Daniel Siegel (Provided that Snowtorious B.I.G doesn’t cause UPS to lose my package)
- Opening to Our Lives, from the NPR show Being, which aired this last weekend.
By this time next week, I’ll know a little more about Mindfulness. By the end of the month, I intend to be practicing some Mindful Meditations. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
Does anyone know of any other resources on Mindfulness that I use to learn more?