Understanding the Purpose of our Mindfulness Practice

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One of the strangest things about mindfulness in the 21st century is how commercialized it’s become. This ancient practice and way of life has now become a billion dollar industry with self-help books, courses, and merchandise all claiming to help folks find the way. While many of these commercialized products can, in fact, help the modern person get on the path, in the end all we really need is to simply pay attention to life. Mindfulness transcends yoga – it’s an important practice for everyone. Being mindful doesn’t mean wandering around in a trance-like state. It’s about experiencing life in its entirety, which these days is much easier said than done. TV, smartphones, the Internet – we’re trained to be distracted. But each time we allow our distractions to consume us, we venture further and further away from our mindful selves.

Mindfulness can make our minds more efficient

Often times our minds are filled with trivial things, such as obligations, irrelevant news and more. Mindfulness can help you cut away all of those transient ideas that cause worry and anxiety in our lives, so that we focus only on what we’re doing or thinking about – nothing more. In other words, mindfulness allows us to be totally absorbed and pay attention to what we’re doing (whether that’s mopping the floor or feeding our child). We’re actively choosing to be more alive in that moment, and, in turn, more likely to enjoy what we’re doing, no matter how mundane the task may seem.

Mindfulness teaches us appreciation of the present

Many folks believe that mindfulness is about withdrawing ourselves from the world for an hour or so in order to sit in silence. Wrong. Mindfulness is a way to teach us about ourselves and the world around us. It helps us to become kinder, stronger, and more compassionate (thus, more complete as humans).

Being mindful – it all begins today

By practicing mindfulness within everyday tasks, we can begin to bring the mind into a habit – since the mind and physical brain are so malleable and ‘plastic’ – of being more mindful in each situation we meet. The first step is to practice mindfulness with something simple, such as washing the dishes.

Read more: The Benefits of Taking Your Yoga Practice Outdoors