Mindfulness – Where to Start
One big topic in the whole mindfulness area is “Searching for Peace within”.
This is what spiritual masters are telling us. You can buy stickers, telling everyone that peace is to be found within yourself, almost everywhere. The truth is, the majority of people is living with a chaos within instead.
I am one of them. I try to tame the chaos, sometimes more and sometimes less. It depends on my mood, the time I find just for myself and on how I feel.
When I’m relaxed I don’t bother myself with the search for something higher. I assume that there seems to be at least a bit of peace inside of me as otherwise I wouldn’t be relaxed, right?
When I’m completely stressed out and need it the most, then I find everything inside of me but peace. I find thoughts running in circles, I find anxiety, I find millions of things I wanted to start, finish, read, write or think about. But the peace that should be found there seems to be buried under all of this.
Sometimes I start to think that I would be able to find it when I could also sit under a palm tree, a turquoise ocean in front of me and a yoga shed behind me. The truth is, I wouldn’t find it there either.
We cannot leave our mind behind – wherever we go we carry all our thoughts with us.
– Lena Kraima
The chaos would travel with me, wherever I go, I’ll take my mind and soul with me.
A more practical approach to mindfulness is to start with small pieces.
We all strive for the big picture, the successful, happy, content and calm person who seems to rest fully within.
There is barely a person like that alive – don’t get confused by snapshots of the lives of others. We all don’t know what is going on within a person, sometimes we don’t even know what’s going on with ourselves.
Instead of searching for peace start with changing your thoughts, with tiny baby steps. Don’t overload yourself with ‘I should be grateful, I should be helpful, I should be, …’. This is how you get lost.
This is a wonderful page to dive deeper into this topic of mindfulness.
How to include mindfulness into your daily routine?
These are small examples on how to change the way of thinking without failing. The more often we do something, the more likely it will turn out to be a daily habit. Live it instead of forcing it.
- Each morning after you wake up drink a glass of warm water and ask yourself what you are grateful for in these few minutes. (Is it the sun raising, the smell of the winter morning air on the open window, a snoring of your cat, the smell of coffee from the kitchen, that you have warm water without many efforts,… there will be million of examples.) What are you grateful for?
- If you find more time include a morning meditation into your daily routines.
An all-time favourite, remind yourself of what you think and become an observer
- Watch your thoughts as if you watch yourself from an outside position. Don’t allow negative thoughts and instead replace them by positive.
Daily routine you can include any time
- Shower meditation – therefore you don’t even need an extra five minutes, you just take the time which is normally probably filled with a ’to-do’ list in your mind.
- Read something inspirational- it can be a book or also newsletters, there are some great ones to subscribe to.
- Eat mindfully – whatever meal it is. People sit and check their phones instead of enjoying the food they have in front of them. Mindful eating is not only a good habit, it is also a healthy habit. You body will thank you.
- Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is not a virtue – better and more mindful is to finish one task before starting the next and put your full attention into each.
- Connect to Mother Earth – nature is relieving stress, it is recharging our batteries. Of course we cannot access a forest daily when we live in the city but even the smallest corner of a park can be your place, standing on a river and listening to the water, there are always possibilities to connect. Stare at the heaven above you, watch clouds or birds flying by.
- Move your body. I don’t want to call it exercise or sports because whatever it may be, it will be beneficial. You can dance for 10 minutes if that’s what you prefer. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or cycle to work, do some yoga, there is no wrong or right, the importance is to keep your body active and move your muscles.
- Deep breathing exercises…this one shouldn’t be too complicated because we need to breath anyway. Instead of reading the news on the train to work, take 5 minutes and immerse yourself into deep breathing.
The more we focus on what we think and how we treat ourselves, the more likely we will find some peace. It all starts within us. That’s the most important part, if stress starts within us (and yes, it does) it will be less if we overlay it with happiness so that stress can’t find its way up. If you are happy you won’t be easily stressed. There is certainly peace within everyone, we just need to set it free. Take away stress, take away pressure and anxiety, also take away criticism and self-doubt, take everything away what you stacked onto the peace and you will find it.
I am a perfectionist and this perfectionism is my stopper – once you know it you can work with it.
Learn that you are allowed to relax even though you could work, or clean or write or whatever – there will always be something to do and if I never take time for myself I won’t relax at all. It is hard to let go of something and there were times when I wasn’t able to sit on my couch as long as there was something to clean and sort in my flat, means I barely sat there just to relax. But believe me, the dishes won’t run away, they wait until you come back to the kitchen and they are not worth giving them the allowance to disturb your peace of mind. The little dust layer you see on a shelf won’t kill you while sitting in meditation, it will wait until you are ready to wipe it away.
Let the “peace within you” be a part of your life – don’t neglect it because you are too busy to enjoy peaceful moments.
– Lena Kraima
Mindfulness is nothing out of reach and surely not unreachable. Every tiny step towards being mindful is already lived mindfulness.
Don’t be blinded by big words, extensive ceremonies or spiritual rituals. All of it won’t diminish your mindfulness – you do what you can and this is perfectly fine.
We all struggle and fail and we all search for a deeper meaning in our life, don’t we? But what is that deeper meaning – it differs from person to person. In the end all that counts is that you are feeling good! Go for what makes you happy.
Namaste you beautiful souls and thanks for reading <3
wonderful advice–I loved–“don’t get confused by snapshots of others”–(Facebook,instagram, etc.) and “dont overload yourself with I should be grateful (words like grateful, mindfulness are becoming cliche. Well, I’m not a Buddha yet). Thank you for your words. Namaste, Genie from L.A.