Mindfulness is the simple yet complex act of being present in the moment. It is paying attention, on purpose. Mindfulness might mean noticing the swirl of milk that rises in a freshly brewed cup of coffee or the touch of a breeze on the back of your neck.
When mindful, we do not judge. Instead we notice and observe what is. In doing so, we let go of mental clutter, are released from emotional reactivity and become immersed in the fullness of the present moment. Our thoughts become plain thoughts, not necessarily fact or reality.
Our emotions, while real, don’t require us to react. When in the present moment, we can let go of fears for the future or regrets from the past. We are able to be in our lives as we are living and to act with intention.
Start off the week with awareness. These quotes inspire us live mindfully in body and spirit.
Lily Tomlin: For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.
Aesop, Fables: A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
Etty Hillesum: Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
Jon Kabat-Zinn: Maybe the fear is that we are less than we think we are, when the actuality of it is that we are much much more
Sharon Salzberg: Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.
Jon Kabat-Zinn: You make problem, you have problem.
Lao Tzu: Do you have patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?
Alan Wilson Watts: One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt
Albert Einstein: I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.
Stephen Vincent Benet: Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the small uncaring ways.
Jon Kabat-Zinn: The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.
Thich Nhat Hanh: The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
Louis L’Amour: Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.
Orna Ross: It’s good to have an end in mind but in the end what counts is how you travel.
You can find more strategies to improve your mindfulness practice and how you feel in my new book, The Stress Response and by clicking here to sign up for more of my tips and podcasts using DBT strategies to improve how you feel.
Lotus with sphere photo available from Shutterstock.
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Last reviewed: 2 May 2012