Have you heard of mindfulness?
It’s becoming a rather hefty trend this year, though I hesitate to call such a movement the nasty “T” word, lest it be grouped next to denim onesies and spectacles with clear glass. But you know something has some clout when within months of one another, Huffington Post calls 2014 the Year of Mindfulness, Time puts the word on their February 2014 cover, and Esquire hails it something to give up in the new year, along with “liking things ironically” and “chillaxing”. (Though four months earlier they published articles entitled “The Mindfulness Project” and “Meditation: A Call to Action,” so I think they’re saying it ironically.)
My introduction to mindfulness came almost accidentally.
A few months ago, while trying to figure out how to classify the kind of magazine I want to work for (and, more immediately, intern for), I came up with the phrase “mindful living.” I don’t know if I actually knew what mindful meant, but to me it implied holistic health, incorporating Eastern teachings and body/mind practices into our Western existence – that sort of thing. Most likely, I had glimpsed the word here and there in recent weeks.
Incidentally, what came up when I typed this term into a search engine was a magazine called Mindful, which happens to be published in the same city I attended school, and is where I am currently doing my internship.
But my internship isn’t the point of this post.
Mindfulness is basically the act of being in the moment, of not dwelling on past or future events but focusing on the now. Integrating that celebration of the now that some Eastern religions follow, but without any of the religion bits. Mindfulness is all about secular accessibility for everyone.
So I’ve been dabbling in this idea of improved contemplation. When it comes to dredging up past events and reliving them, complete with all the feelings they caused at the time, I’m a pro. All I have to do is flash back to that time I was … oh no. I’m not going there. Suffice to say, I’ll live it over and over again – one of the joys of having a really good long term memory.
And yesterday, when I was thinking this would make a suitable weekly blog post, it occurred to me that mindfulness is kind of exactly what My Transient Reality is going for. Noticing the little things in a big picture world. That big picture world seems to be all “rush, rush for the future and nostalgia for the way it was.” So, in that sloppy metaphor, isn’t mindfulness noticing the little things?
So far I’m doing 10-minute meditations each evening, and just trying to remember to appreciate where I am, when I’m somewhere. Anywhere.
I’ll keep you posted.