Let’s start with what being mindful is not. Being mindful is not a state of meditation nor is it spending hours with your eyes closed in a dark room. Being mindful is being in your body, aware of your breathing, aware of your thoughts; the ability to slow down the frequency of these thoughts in order to simply observe them, not shut them out.
It is a way of being, not necessarily a state or a moment in time. Being mindful means you are becoming aware of your patterns of thought, the way you go through your day, the things you say, the eye contact you make with people, the time you dedicate to them when you are intentionally listening and making space for them to be.
It requires language that many thought leaders are now offering us, like Brene Brown. These language tools can be applied to yourself, as well as others. It sounds like this: “tell me more,” or “the story I’m telling myself is…” Or Tara Brach’s “I’m here, I am sorry, and I love you.”
Being mindful is not only ‘being in the moment’, something that can become trivialized, unless you have spent time observing yourself. You can’t be mindful and be in the moment unless you have been compassionate with yourself, forgiven yourself, allowed yourself the time to heal, love and accept love.
Self-care doesn’t work if you’re heading back to a situation that will re-traumatize you over and over again. Being mindful means to take into account where you are losing energy, every day, and find the courage to address these areas in your life.