What does ‘Mindful’ Actually Mean?
We hear the terms ‘mindful’ and ‘mindfulness’ a lot at the moment, and I wonder if some people groan inwardly when they hear them!
Being ‘mindful’ is doing something (anything) with awareness. Being ‘mindful’ is the opposite of being on autopilot. Tuning into your full sensory experience, your motor movement, how something makes you feel. It is getting the maximum enjoyment out of a simple activity.
This can be an excellent way of dealing with stress. You cannot fixate on past disappointments or future worries if you are focused on the here-and-now. This can be a huge relief, and has an impact on our minds and bodies.
Being ‘mindful’ also has another meaning, of ‘trying not to cause damage’. This links in with my other preoccupations, which are nature, the environment, healthy living, respect for others, and tackling forms of inequality in our society. Everyone causes harm; no one is perfect. If we are mindful of the ways we might cause harm, we instantly become less likely to do so in the future.
About MeI live deep the Kent countryside, UK, with my partner and our small collection of children and dogs. I grow the flowers, whilst Stevie grows the fruit and veg.
I aim to pack as much colour, texture, scent and movement into my garden, to enable us to enjoy the sensory delights and earthy pleasures throughout the seasons. I have a particular fondness for tulips, peonies, roses, geraniums and dahlias.
I have practised yoga for many years, but my brand of mindfulness is a very free-and-easy one. It often entails gazing at a flower or bee, listening to the birds, or smelling or tasting things we’ve grown. I love the feeling of flow: snipping and training and digging and weeding; being immersed in the wonder-filled world of the garden.
Mindfulness and gardening has got me through some tough times in life. We all have bumps in our roads; we need some tools for survival. For contentment. And the odd little pop of wonder and joy.
Sorry about the hose in the photo below. It was the only photo I could find of me actually doing garden stuff.