Mindful October (Part 1)

Mindfulness. It’s a word (and a concept) we hear about all the time. But what does it mean, and why does EFLI put so much emphasis on it?

This October, we are diving into the idea of mindfulness, asking ourselves what it means to us as individuals, and how we practice it in our day-to-day lives. We asked people in the EFLI community to answer three questions:

What does mindfulness mean to you?
How do you practice mindfulness?
Why do you want to be more mindful?

The responses we received were so varied that we realized we want to share what everyone said, in the hopes of spreading understanding that there is no single way of being mindful.

How to Practice Mindfulness by Grace Ludmer

When my brain is full of daily worries and anxieties, I use mindfulness to empty it, and invite my mind back into my body. I pause, exhale, and ask myself “can I bring love into myself, so I don’t react harshly?” Life is so much more colorful when you are able to have patience and tolerance towards yourself and others.

When I engage with mindful practices I feel engaged with the purpose and process of my life, and can better see its many gifts.

I don’t think it’s possible to be mindful without starting with self care, so to me, mindfulness is taking care of myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I practice it by taking long walks outside, listening to music, disconnecting from technology, and going to therapy.

I use “mindfulness” and “heartfulness” interchangeably, because when I am being mindful I am working from the place in my heart that is present and paying attention. There are many different ways of practicing it. I think running can be as much a mindful practice as meditation, because a mindfulness practice is any forgiving way you find to get yourself back on track when you feel like you’ve gotten off course.

With mindfulness, I can recognize when I’m getting caught up in drama or other unnecessary emotions, and helps me to take a step back, honor my feelings, and then let them go. This allows me to expand my awareness to include the world around me, and it helps me to enter into everyday interactions with curiosity and kindness.

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