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Cultivating Awareness

Nowadays, many of us live through each day without truly being aware of our internal cues/ external environment. This really sums up what I feel each day. When I make the effort to really place my presence in the present, I notice, “How did all this time pass by so quickly? I’ve been putting my energy either in the past or in the future, but never in the moment.” Sound familiar? After this realization, I get really frustrated because of the fact that I wasted so much time that I could have used productively. As time goes on, I have learned how to catch myself when my mind is elsewhere as well as how to curb the frustration that proceeds. You may be asking how I did it. The answer is MINDFULNESS. This may be a familiar concept, for during the pandemic, the concept has been especially incorporated into different self-care programs and help strategies. Let me just give you a refresher.

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we are doing. During mindfulness, there is no judgement, only observation.

A common method of how mindfulness is practiced is through meditation. Meditating may sound like a cliché notion, however, it has serious benefits. When meditating, do not expect to have a crystal clear space in the mind. It’s all about being curious about what's going on. It does take discipline and time, but if you can carve out just a few minutes of your day dedicated to mindful meditation as well as have an open heart, that’s enough. As you become aware of your surroundings/ what is going on in your body, just notice it. No judgement is necessary. If you find yourself drifting away from the present, return to your breath. Sounds simple doesn’t it? However, it will not necessarily be easy. As with everything, being mindful will take continuous work, but I promise you, having the skill of cultivating awareness will bring you peace and relaxation.

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