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Midday Mindfulness

So last night a few friends and I were talking about meditation and similar things. I have NEVER been able to do the traditional sitting, concentrating-on-breathing type of thing; but even more than that, I find it very hard to stay in the present and just be in the moment. I am very future-oriented and constantly find myself thinking about what happens next, and I also sometimes catch myself ruminating about the past. One of my friends has a similar issue, but the rest of the group all had some sort of exercise or ritual that helped them empty their minds, be centered, and just relax. I was surprised at the variety of things people shared, so now I'm curious about what y'all think and do.

Are you someone who lives more in the future or past, or do you find it easy to take things moment by moment? Do you meditate, or have some other "mindfulness" activity that you do - guided imagery, etc.? What activities do you do that keep you solely in the now, and what kind of effect do you think that has on your life?

Re: Midday Mindfulness

  • sometimes I take a hot bath in the dark with a woodwick candle burning.  it makes me feel the way I imagine meditating would feel.  just me, the hot water, mostly dark, and the sound of the candle burning.  it's wonderful. 

    I think I live in the future mostly, but as I get older I'm finding myself having an easier time living in the present.  maybe it's just maturity...?
  • ShallowSeasShallowSeas Indianapolis, IN member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 2014
    I find it really hard to sit and meditate or focus on breathing because my mind wanders too much. I just havent been able to master it yet.  FI and I do Yoga.  He does more for the meditation/relaxation aspect. I try to do it for that, but I can't, so I do it because it helps my joints and makes my back feel amazing.

    I need to find some type of mindfulness activity to do.  I facilitate a DBT group where I work that focuses a lot of mindfulness yet I'm not able to do it myself :\   Right now I live almost 100% in the future, which is something I would like to change.
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  • this is today's quote on my daily calendar:

    "You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one.  Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own.  It's just a matter of paying attention to the miracle." - Paulo Coelho

    how about that!
    CLoGreenEyesKeptInStitches
  • @CocoBellaF, a hot bath sounds SO GOOD right now. That's all I got, lol.

    @Severmilli12, my girlfriend is desperate to do Bikram yoga sometime soon. I'm terrified, but I can see the utility in it. Can't be worrying about the future if you're sweating it out in a hot room thinking, "Omigod this position is about to KILL ME." What is DBT?

    To answer my own questions, I'm kind of everywhere BUT the present. If I am in the present, I'm probably working or exercising. There is very little I do that I would consider relaxing that also keeps me in the now. Back when I used to play around with singing and writing stories (had to be fiction; journaling is not very good for me in this respect), that is probably the closest I got to just being and experiencing calmness/relaxation at the same time.

    I don't even know that it's necessary to really be able to empty your mind of all thoughts and just be. While I understand the usefulness of just enjoying the present for what it is without worrying or anticipating, I don't know what it accomplishes to just sit there and not think or do anything. I'm just happy when I can actually get myself to concentrate on one activity at a time instead of constantly fitting each moment into a series of things that need to happen.

  • actually, I mentioned to H the other day that when I'm doing my Insanity workouts, I'm so engaged in it that it's really all I'm thinking about (which is abnormal for me!).  so there's that, too.
  • ShallowSeasShallowSeas Indianapolis, IN member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    @CLoGreenEyes DBT is Dialectical Behavior Therapy, basically teaching kids with mental illness and mood issues how to be mindful and different coping skills they can use. We actually do a section on Yoga.

    I'm gonna stick with the Yoga for a while and see if I can get into it. Bikram Yoga sounds interesting. I Maybe it would keep my mind off of other things if I'm super focused on that!
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  • during the warmer months I spend a lot of time in the vegetable garden.  I see a drastic drop in my anxiety when I'm spending a lot of time in my garden.  something about digging around in the dirt and growing things. it's so relaxing!!  H loves it, too.
  • @severmilli12, thanks for the definition!

    So it sounds like as long as y'all are doing SOMETHING other than thinking, it's enough to get you out of your head and into the moment. Which is awesome and sounds much more doable than sitting cross-legged on a mat trying in vain to concentrate on my breathing. So, with that in mind, I think a walk in this beautiful weather sounds like a plan right now. :)

  • Right now I have too much going on in life to be able to relax, focus and breathe and kind of enjoy the now, perhaps when my show opens next week I will. In my show I'm playing Emily in Our Town, if anyone knows the show her character is dead in 3rd Act and she comes back to her 12th birthday to relive the day. She does a beautiful monologue about all of the wonderful and simple things she will miss about life and ends the monolgue by  saying "Do human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute of it?"

    It really makes you think about the simple things we take for granted every day. I know I do and I really need to focus on this more.  She even references in the monologue sleep and waking up.. those simple things we take for granted...

    This probably does go off on a bit of a tangent but this is where my head is right now...

    Anniversary

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    It's about crafting for me. There's something about watching my yarn turn into a piece of fabric - it's why I love knitting and crocheting so much. My mom does needlepoint (her view is it's therapeutic to repeatedly stab canvas, plus it's pretty at the end).
  • I shuffle a deck of cards, usually my oracle or tarot decks but a plain deck of cards works just as well, and just zone out. I let the rhythmic sound and action calm me. If I'm home though I just meditate. I can usually slip into that state without much trouble.
  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I'm with @CocoBellaF It's really easy for me to feel relaxed and empty my mind when I working in the yard and doing something physical. During yoga I have a difficult time during the meditation stage of emptying my mind and not thinking of anything. Sometimes I'll just visualize relaxing imagery in my head instead in order to reach that feeling of "centerness" or whatever. When I read it takes me out of reality completely so that's one way I really like to relax. I become so focused on the book that I completely block out my environment sometimes and it can take a lot to get my attention again.

    Generally I think I live in the present. I dwell on the future more than the past but I don't find myself having to remind myself to focus on here and now very often.



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