Guest post by Monica Jordan M.Ed. and MCMBT
As I confessed in Mom, Mayo! Consequences of not Mindfully Navigating Food Allergies, I learned a difficult yet powerful lesson from not being mindful while ordering my son’s sandwich before his soccer game.
My inability to be present ultimately caused his allergic reaction.
Since then, I have been practicing mindfulness following instruction from Monica Jordan M.Ed. and MCMBT.
Monica has helped me to work with my thoughts and negative habits, see the effect they are having on me and my family and connect with the peace within by practicing mindfulness.
In case you are new to mindfulness, I have asked Monica to share her definition with us and I hope that you will embrace this life changing practice.
What is Mindfulness?
by Monica Jordan
You may not even know it, but most probably you have experienced mindfulness in your life already. Remember that moment in which you were totally immersed in an activity? That moment in which you were utterly absorbed, in a state of, what Mihály Csíkszentmihályi calls, “flow,” a feeling of energized focus where your worries, anxieties and stressful thoughts totally disappeared?
That is what Mindfulness is.
Mindfulness is a subtle shift in the way you pay attention, a shift that will radically change your way of relating to yourself and your circumstances from the inside out. It is a way of being with and attending to your experience just as it is with awareness rather than judgment.
Mindfulness is a training in attention, which guides you to how inhabit your field of awareness. It is learning to accept every moment just as it is, however pleasant or unpleasant, easy or challenging, without getting caught in emotional storms that lead to inevitable suffering. While there are many definitions of Mindfulness, it is hard to describe what it is because more than a concept, Mindfulness is an experience, an opening through which you can discover who you really are.
The practice of Mindfulness involves finding and recognizing that part of you is already whole, okay, and beautiful. With Mindfulness you can access the inner power and the wisdom that we all have within just by virtue of being human. Mindfulness helps you cultivate an open perspective to transform your experience and find the freedom we are all after.
Mindfulness helps you to become more aware of the detrimental thought patterns that can trigger and perpetuate stress, anxiety and low moods. You also learn that you have options, and you can respond wisely instead of reacting blindly to life’s hurdles.
Mindfulness is a radical act of self-compassion and kindness. It is about pausing and simply being rather than getting caught up in the endless “to do list” and forgetting who is “doing the doing,” and why.
By embracing Mindfulness you learn about living, growing and healing in a world of instability, change and, sometimes, deep pain. Cultivating mindfulness can lead to the discovery of serenity, clarity and insight that you did not know you had before where you find a source of boundless energy, self understanding and self healing.
“Mindfulness is …to live life as if each moment is important, as if each moment counted and could be worked with, even if it is a moment of pain, sadness or fear.” ~ John Kabat-Zinn ~ Full Catastrophe Living
Originally published on Embracemindfulness.org.
Monica Jordan M.Ed. and MCMBT
Monica holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) and a Master’s Certificate in Mind, Brain and Teaching (MCMBT), graduating summa cum laude, from Johns Hopkins University. In this program, Monica focused her research review on the mechanisms involved in allostatic load, the consequences of stress overload on the nervous system, and the impact it has on mood, learning, behavior, executive function and well being as well as the effectiveness of Mindfulness as an intervention to ameliorate and even transform our reaction to stressors. More
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