Mindfulness Exercises for Everyday Life
Here a few of the many mindfulness exercises that are available to us in practicing our "yoga off the mat". Focusing our attention, being aware, and making choices.
To me there are two avenues that we can use in practicing yoga that will bring us to a more empowered, effective, and fulfilling life. One is the inner work. There is a lot of material here on this website that is all about that. Just glance down the menu bar on the left of this screen. The "other yoga" is the outer work - everyday mindfulness exercises that are about how we apply our focus and our awareness to the moment to moment choices we make as we go about our day. Below I've outline one simple awareness activity for each of four areas of life.
1. RELATIONSHIPS and LANGUAGE
It is often not so much what we say that matters. It is the message beneath our words that come through to the person we are in conversation with. Practice choosing mindful language as well as being clear about your intention before saying anything.
What do you want to create from the conversation? Get clear. How do you want to be in relation to the person to whom you are speaking? Hold those images firmly in your minds eye and choose the words to match. This can be an extremely powerful practice and like anything you try, don't expect perfection when you start. Work on it each day in at least one conversation and notice the results. Is your primary relationship in a rut? Resolve to take some time each day to practice mindfulness around it. The banner link below will take you to a great program that will give you the tools to practice Relationship Mindfulness.
Each day give a minimum of 20 minutes attention to your finances. Most people don't. They deliberately choose not to think about money. This doesn't work. Be mindful to pay bills right away when they arrive. Each day check your bank balance (it is very easy to do with online banking - just a few clicks of the mouse).
Make at least one decision each day that will improve your financial situation and implement it. At least once a month list all of your income and expenses for the month on one sheet of paper. Include in it one "donation" you want to make that will help someone less fortunate than you. It doesn't have to be huge but should be mindfully made.
Each meal review your choice of what you are eating. How was the decision made. Begin to implement a mindful approach to food choices. Am I choosing that which will best serve me? Am I choosing what I enjoy? Be very aware of any judgments you might be making about yourself and your choices. Remember there is no right or wrong. Just choices. The choices we make will usually be more supportive of our overall life when they are made mindfully.
Personally, I prefer to eat small servings of high quality nutritious food. It takes a little more work to find it but to me it's worth the effort.
As you sit down in any room in your home each day take a moment to look around you. Did the decor and furnishings just happen or did you choose them deliberately? How long have they been there? Do they serve you now? What might you choose differently? Change one thing in that room right now that will make it more pleasant to you. Your living environment is an important part of your life. Create it how you want it with a mindful approach to choosing what you want to have in it.
In each issue of my Free E-zine I will include at least one more mindfulness exercise like these and that will address some of the issues we face in creating a life that is tuned in - both inwardly as well as outwardly in the world around us.