According to trusty google being mindful is defined as,
“the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”
Before giving this a search I tried thinking of some definitions myself. A lot of adjectives such as awareness, realization, peacefulness came up but in my opinion the best one and simplest definition was,
The second definition google provided was,
“a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”
I mean google definitely went for the lengthier option but I wasn’t far off!
Being mindful has been something I have wanted to benefit from and I have been concentrating a lot on what I want it to mean to me. Suffering with an eating disorder, I am constantly flicking between fearing the future and worrying about the past. I find that some days go by when I have absolutely no idea what I have done because I was off in my head somewhere. So being able to come up with what to me seems like the best summary of being mindful and with google sort of agreeing with me, has put a massive smile on my face.
My most recent holiday on a boat in Norfolk was when the penny dropped in terms of understanding mindfulness properly ((took me back to the good old days in maths when you finally understand how to use an equation)). I can hand on heart say that for the majority of days ((aside from the time I was reading)) I was extremely aware of my thoughts and feelings in the present moment ((usually to prevent anyone from pushing me off the boat nevertheless I was being extremely mindful)).
For ages, I actually thought mindfulness meant being able to zone out. In my head I held this picture ((comically)) of someone meditating to singing dolphins, pretty much the complete opposite of the mindfulness I know. I don’t think I am the only one who thought that’s what being mindful meant, don’t worry it is not a cult. It has opened me up to enjoy and remember so many more experiences, even down to lying in svasana and really feeling the weight of my yoga practice sink into my mat ((truly the best feeling, apart from when you are trying to relax and all you can feel is your super itchy big toe…)). Even my rekindled love of Sudoku I think counts as being mindful, I can literally spend my whole evening solely focused on my book of puzzles ((commitment I know)).
Being able to understand that the chatter in my head, whether it is particularly loud or quiet that day doesn’t have to be silenced or argued with, instead just recognized. That has been such an achievement and a massive step in being able to accept myself… thank you Norfolk broads!!!