There’s a lot of chatter  on social media these days about mindfulness and staying present. When you think about practicing mindfulness, do you see yourself sitting on a cushion with your eyes closed for an hour? If that sounds tedious, I have good news: mindfulness is an active process and, just like Self care, it can take many forms.

What do you do when you practice being mindful? You notice.  

Buddhist thinkers often tell the story of walking through a garden and seeing a beautiful, dying fruit tree. You get caught up in the loss of this lovely tree, and in your sorrow and worry, you are not able to see the rest of the garden and all of its beautiful, healthy trees and flowers.

If you’re anything like me, you have those times when your thoughts run you ragged. Let’s explore some simple ways to step out of the worry and fear in the theater of our minds and enjoy the calm and happiness that is also in our lives.

When you can be present, you can notice your perspective and then choose to stand in a different spot – not because one is right and one is wrong, but because you can see that they are both valid. At first, you may notice the things you dislike and want to change or plan away. When you bring yourself back to the present, however, you can notice your thoughts and think: what else?  What else am I not noticing, not seeing, not getting? When you do that, you feel joy despite the dying tree in the garden.

Image credit

Lemon” by Flickr user Marco Obinu is licensed under BY-ND 2.0.