Mindfulness will help with developing your compassion skills. To change the orientation of your mind, the practice of becoming mindful can be what breaks us out of the cycle of busyness and disconnectedness that we are in. The way to happiness, balance and well-being is through mindfulness. It can make us calmer and become more centred. We pay attention to being in the present intentionally. There is no judgement, it is acknowledging our feelings and accepting them. It has been thought by many that mindfulness is a relaxation technique, or about emptying the mind or escaping from reality. This is not mindfulness. Mindfulness is being open and receptive to your experiences, thoughts, and feelings moment by moment. You are observing and not engaging with your thoughts and sensations. I found that my mind chatter in my head was always in overdrive and I never let myself be in the moment or have time to reflect or understand what was really going on with me. By learning how to observe quietly and noticing what was coming up I started to accept what was happening without judging myself or wanting to change anything at that moment. It was just a way to be still and in tune with myself. Now I find myself very in tune with others because I have developed this skill. Can you think of a time when you experienced complete presence in the moment? This can happen when in nature, a sunset or sunrise, looking at the ocean, seeing your new baby for the first time. At those moments, we are completely present. We are calm, open and feel a sense of comfort and being centred. This is the presence we can have for other areas of our life. Being present is described as a state rather than something that we do. It is being open to joy, happiness and being in the moment. It is not about reliving our pasts, having regrets, feeling past pain again or worrying about the future and what might happen. Mindfulness brings us into the present. Mindfulness helps with our compassion. As we are more in tune with ourselves we are more in tune with what is going on for another person. When we have trouble tuning in to others or ourselves then we do not develop a connection and there may be mistrust or fear occurring. We can use mindfulness to reflect on why this happened and what was noticed at the time. Create a sacred space where you can perform your mindfulness rituals. It does not have to be a whole room, it can be a corner where you have a cushion and a candle, a chair, a mat, as long as you can be seated upright. Have a space in the sanctuary of your home. Be gentle with yourself if your mind wanders as it takes time to be still and suspend judgement. The aim is for you to be more present with yourself, with others and be at peace with yourself so you can bring compassion to others. Pausing is recommended also. To press your pause button to slow yourself down allows you to realise that your emotions maybe taking you over or that your thoughts are running rampart. A great mindfulness practice is colouring in mandalas. You find a quiet place with your colours and start colouring in. Notice what comes up for you whilst you are colouring. Is there negative mind chatter? Are you resisting something? What emotions are coming up? Are you feeling comfortable or awkward? Is it coming from your surroundings or from within? Checking in with where you are is key to unravel what is making you off balance, taking away your self-awareness and not being compassionate.
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