During this past year I planned a wedding, was working full time, and somehow managed to fit in a handful of online classes. Most days I was running off stress more than sleep. I knew that meditation would help me in more ways than one, but it felt like a luxury I just couldn’t afford. But as the months went on, I found that ignoring my mental and spiritual needs wasn’t doing me any favors. Fatigue became my new normal, and my concentration and mood suffered. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon the practices of mindfulness that I began to feel as if I was taking care of myself again.
Mindfulness is a specific form of meditation. In meditation, you might focus on an affirmation or image while you let any fleeting thoughts or emotions fade into the background to clear your mind. Meditation is a powerful tool that enables you to enter the Silence and create space in your mind, which offers many benefits. Mindfulness has similar rewards—it eases stress, creates calm, and connects you to your spiritual center. With mindfulness, the goal is not necessarily to clear your mind, but to accept each thought as it arises. Live fully in the moment and embrace each thought, breath, or sensation as it comes, and you will experience mindfulness.
Meditation often requires a dedicated time and space where you can relax and enter the Silence unhurried. I found that the practice of mindfulness was simpler—I could fit it into a spare minute or two throughout the day. During my morning shower, I took a few minutes in the heat and steam to breathe deeply and quiet my thoughts. Just those few relaxing moments had a huge impact on my day. I began to incorporate mindfulness and affirmations into my morning routine and chores to help me see the positive side to each of them. These practices can help you, too, embrace every opportunity for spiritual health.
Treat each morning like a new gift, and look for opportunities for mindfulness while brushing your teeth, combing your hair, or during your shower. Hold good thoughts or speak affirmations throughout morning activities. For me, I reminded myself of the energy I would gain from my food while I packed my lunch or envisioned myself confident and comfortable as I chose my clothing. Take care to notice and appreciate the simple pleasures that might otherwise go unnoticed in our rush to get things done.
Getting in the habit of looking for opportunities to be mindful, positive, and in tune with your day will only get easier as you begin to treat every responsibility as a loving act that you choose to take on. Self-care is long-standing Unity advice; putting love out into the world will bring more love back to you. It’s not about taking time out of your day to be mindful, but adding mindfulness into your everyday life.