Mindfulness is a buzzword at the moment. Mindful relationships; mindful parenting; mindful thinking; learning; breathing. It’s everywhere. It’s touted as the perfect tonic to our less than perfect lives. Are you feeling stressed? Just be mindful of your breath? Do you have cravings for chocolate? Try mindful eating. Do you hate your job? Mindfulness can fix that, too! Hate cleaning? Just be present. Cleaning the toilet is so much better when you just clean mindfully.
Images, quotes and pictures of nature, Buddha and beautiful people being mindful on the beach flood our social media feeds. ‘It’s so easy’, they say, just listen to your breathing/smell the fresh air/let the sand run through your fingers. But it isn’t easy.
Mindfulness can be stressful. It can appear to feed in to the problem. We have a thousand things on our to-do lists and adding mindfulness can feel a bit more like another thing nagging us from the post-it on the fridge. We are constantly striving to be the best we can. We are trying to do a million things at once. We get stressed out and then think ‘Shit! I forgot to be mindful!’
But here is the best part. When you think that you have forgotten to be mindful, you actually just have had a moment of mindfulness. Awareness can happen in the moment, but also after the moment. So when you say ‘Shit, I forgot to be mindful!’ you actually just have been. If you weren’t mindful at all, you would not have noticed at all.
Sometimes you will remember, and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes you will be walking down the street and be struck by the beautiful sunshine, or the breeze or that you feel great, and sometimes you won’t.
And both are fine.