Mindful Seeing

Photo by Amy Christine Photo

One quick trick for a mindful moment is using mindful seeing.

You can use this anywhere you have a view. Without judgment, look at the patterns, colors, and textures. Look at it as if it were new to you. For example, in the picture above, don’t look at it as if you have been there. Look at the ripples in the water, the textures of the plants and rocks. Look at the different shapes. Pay attention to the small things. Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

You have now taken a mindfulness break. Proceed on and notice how you feel

Mindfulness creates Gratitude

For those of you that are skeptical of “mindfulness”, it’s simply a tool of gratitude. You see, mindfulness brings gratitude and visa-versa. Increased gratitude is a result of practicing mindfulness, whether you label it that or not.

As we pay more attention to our thoughts and “being in the moment”, we become increasingly aware of the thoughts (typically things about our past or fears of our future) that block us from appreciating the good we have in our lives. More often that not, it is the little and simple things that mean the most to us, when we are in the present moments.

Think about this: Right now, in this very moments, there are tons of people that would consider their prayers answered if that had only a portion of what you have.

When we are truly in the moment, we are able to see the beauty and the good all around the chaos we may think is our reality. Gratitude can shift you from negative emotions for a moment.

Have you ever wondered why negativity and fears seems to grow in leaps and bounds? It is actually our brains default function. It is simply built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news or seeing “the bad”. It is so automatic it can be detected at the earliest stage of the brain’s information processing. Mindfulness is a key factor in overcoming that natural negativity bias. It helps to change the negative self-talk and create new pathways for our thoughts to follow. (more on this later in the week).

So for today, think of 5 things you are grateful for and share at least one in the comments!

For the love of science

While I am an artist and a writer, I have had a lifelong interest in science, particularly how the brain works. Science theories have always come easy for me but I have a deep fascination, almost a passion, in regards to how the brain works. I guess that is one of the driving forces behind my pursuit into mindfulness.

So, first I need to tell you, these are only my own thoughts and opinions. I am certainly not an expert by any means. I am only sharing my own thoughts, opinions, and of course, google research.

Most of it started with a curiosity of how much our bodies are affected by the way we think. I have been in pursuit of this understanding when I started to look at how the words we use and their perceived, and personal meaning, affect us. Our thoughts, emotions, and actions all start with our personal meaning and definition of words. Hence, self-talk comes into play.

This curiosity led me to look more deeply into what parts of the brain affect things like depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, PTSD, and our personalities. Mental health has long been set aside to the pursuits of physical health. It is my personal belief, if we put more focus into our mental health our physical health would come more naturally.

My own personal experience in over coming a binge eating disorder and putting my PTSD in remission, ALL came from the focus on my thoughts. I was introduced to yoga, meditation, and the stories we tell ourselves and how to change them. What I have found most successful, through my own personal experimentation, is my personalized practice of mindfulness. Being mindful of the brain regions affected by the hippocampus, amygdala, frontal lobe, and the limpic system continues to fuel my passion.

Mindfulness techniques, in small doses, rather than simply meditation, can help with depression, anxiety, addiction relapse prevention, chronic pain and even ADHD. I am finding that bridging the science with spirituality serves me best. My practices of mindfulness include the principle of the universal laws. And yes that includes the law of attraction. So, my hope with that combination, there might be something for everyone!

In the Beginning

The Long and Winding Road

We all start somewhere.

My long and winding road to Mindfulness has had many twist and turns. Most of that has been spent dispelling my own disbelief, doubts, and bought into the myths about mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.

Myths like:

  • I don’t know how to do it
  • I can’t stop thinking and have a blank mind
  • Yoga is just awkward positions that require you to be thin and flexible
  • That stuff is just spiritual, WOO-WOO, or a foreign religion
  • I don’t want people to think I’m weird with all that chanting and weird noises or words
  • People who meditate have no problems and are peaceful and calm
  • People will just think I’m crazy and don’t deal with life problems

Have you ever thought that? Be honest. What are some of the myths you have told yourself why you can’t try or do meditation, mindfulness or yoga?

My path started when I was blogging in the weight loss genre. I was introduced to yoga for plus-size girls. I was also working with a personal coach, at the time, and we got into a heated debate about the top two myths. She told me to find a blank wall and my response was: “I don’t have any blank walls in my house!” I was actually quite “miffed” with her and went completely to the “she’s not listening to me” and “she just doesn’t understand me” place in my thoughts.

A few days later, as I was practicing yoga, I looked up at the ceiling and saw my blank wall. It was the ceiling! As trivial as that may sound, it changed the course of my life. It was all about perspective and what we tell ourselves to hold on to our “stories”.

Here I am 10 years later (yes, its been a long path) and I am a full believer in our thoughts and our words create our reality in each moment. While I am not an expert by any means, I certainly practice everyday and enjoy the perpetual learning!

Mindfulness vs. Meditation


Is there a difference between mindfulness and meditation? Often the two are intertwined, as in mindful meditation, but in actuality there are a few subtle yet significant differences.

Meditation is a more formalized practice. Typically, it is done for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes with your focus primarily on your breath.

Mindfulness is simply awareness with your focus primarily in the current moment. It can be done anytime and anywhere.

Both mindfulness and meditation have been shown to have physical and mental health benefits. Here are some surprising benefits:

  • Better sleep
  • Make progress toward weight loss goals
  • Lower stress levels
  • Decrease loneliness in seniors
  • Banish temporary negative feelings
  • Improve attention
  • Manage chronic pain
  • Help prevent depression relapse
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Increase brain gray matter
  • Alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help with ADHD

What is your experience with mindfulness or meditation?

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